Free day care offered in Kamloops for families fleeing fires

The Maple Tree Early Learning and Development Centre in Aberdeen is stepping up to help evacuees of wildfies.

As a search and rescue technician, Scarlett Hansen has volunteered during previous evacuations and has seen the impact the process has on families.

Hansen, who is also director of operations for the Maple Tree Early Learning and Development Centre, said families typically leave with just the clothes on their backs and perhaps a backpack. Children have minimal possessions and are put up in a hotel or community centre with parents.

article continues below

Hansen said the Maple Tree day care, which is located in leased space inside Oasis Church on Rogers Way in Aberdeen, has extra space and she and manager Brian Fleming decided to offer free day care to families who have had to belle the flames,

She said the offer is being made in an effort to help families reduce their stress levels.

“Maybe they’re trying to work right now and they can’t because they can’t just leave their children in the hotel and go off for the day — and it’s a financial burden being evacuated from your house,” Hansen said.

“Also, the kids are all stressed out. At least if they come to day care, it will ease their minds. They’ll be able to connect with other children and play games and get their minds off of what is actually going on.”

The centre, which offers infant to school-aged care, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Hansen said availability is fluid from day to day, based on current vacancies, children who may be on summer holidays with family or kids who are sick.

Parents are required to provide some sort of proof of evacuation and to register the child, due to regulatory requirements. Children are being kept indoors for now, due to wildfire smoke outside and the associated air quality advisory, but Maple Tree has the use of a large gymnasium for kids to burn off steam.

“Since we’re not utilizing that space, we thought why not help out the community?” Hansen said.

Evacuees seeking child care can contact Maple Tree by calling 250-828-8060 or emailing kamloops@mapletreepreschool.ca.

© Kamloops This Week

 


KAMLOOPS WEATHER

Question of the Week POLL

Do you think the provincial government waited too long to declare a state of emergency in response to the wildfires?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar

Help Us Help Kamloops. Support Local Media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kamloops This Week is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time .

NEW: For every donation of $25 or greater, we will offer a digital advertising package to the local non-profit group of your choice.

Click on https://support.kamloopsthisweek.com for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.