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“It’s eerie to see a building go from three programs, 20 to 30 kids a day, to a handful of kids. It’s a shame,” he said. “It’s a nice facility, but it’s just not being used to the level that it could be used unless we can find more teachers to staff those two program that were cancelled. We’re not holding our breath that’s going to happen anytime soon.”
Rebecca Wood Barrett is another Spring Creek parent who managed to get her child into the program at Nesters — one day a week after the closure and then two days a week a month later. She would like the option of having a third day, especially during the shoulder season where she prepares programming for Resort TV, but says she can get by with two.
Like Donohue, she’s grateful for the alternative but says the situation is less than ideal.
She moved to Spring Creek because she and her husband work down the road in Function Junction, and because of the daycare. Now she has to drive 15 km to the village and back two days a week to put her son in daycare.
“It just seems like a waste,” she said. “It’s just so appalling that there are no cars parked at the (Spring Creek) daycare anymore, no kids going in and out. It’s embarrassing that we have this daycare and 100 kids on the wait list, but the daycare is mostly empty.”
She says she looked into the home daycare option, but it’s difficult because it’s not as reliable and there is no curriculum.
“Daycare is always there for you,” she said. “I do have a couple of friends with kids the same age and we’ve been sharing, but it’s harder because you can’t rely on friends the same way. People go on holiday, they have jobs, their kids get sick. When I’m working I can’t call a client and say my daycare is sick today so I can’t make it.
“The school — because that’s what it is — has been really good for my little guy. It isn’t babysitting. He’s been socialized with other children, and they’ve helped to teach manners, how to interact with others, how to express feelings, how to play with other children — we love the program.”
Claire Wilson’s situation is a little more difficult. Her son was enrolled for three days a week at Spring Creek and was supposed to go to four or five days when the centre closed. She was able to stay home more during the month of September, but will need to be at work full time in January, arranging bookings for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler golf course.