Coronavirus: Okanagan parents worried about childcare as B.C. closes schools

Nicole Cadman is one of thousands of people across the Okanagan facing uncertainty about the remainder of the school year.

The Penticton woman looks after her grandson, and the government’s indefinite suspension of in-class instruction at all K-12 and independent schools has her worried.

“My daughter is supposed to be working full-time as well, and I do too, so we will have to get together and work out a game plan,” Cadman said.

Education Minister Rob Fleming made the announcement on Tuesday in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Students are already on March break, but the announcement left caregivers, including Cadman, wondering how they will still be able to work, while keeping their children or grandchildren at home, once that ends in two weeks.

“I think families are going to have to start sharing each other’s kids,” Cadman said.

Meanwhile, Okanagan school districts are scrambling to bring in remote instruction.

“There’s been some talk about going online, it’s a lot easier for the senior grades than the younger ones, but that is very much an option,” said Okanagan-Skaha school board chair James Palanio.

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