The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) has announced the schools that will have open daycares in order to alleviate stress on parents who perform essential services, such as healthcare providers, police and firefighters.
The schools were chosen by the Quebec government, which announced Sunday that it would be providing free emergency daycare services for parents performing certain jobs.
“[We] take care of children so that parents can take care of the sick,'' explained Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge.
The school board notes it plans to monitor the situation and, if needed, will reach out to additional personnel for help.
"The more people willing to help out, the better it will be for everyone. As they say: many hands make light work," the EMSB said. "Anyone working in one of the eight specified daycares may bring their own children if other arrangements cannot be made. Strict hygiene and cleanliness will be assured in all daycares."
In order to properly shut down the schools and ensure safe hygiene, the EMSB adds that teachers, staff, parents and students will not be allowed inside the schools to pick up forgotten belongings.
"If, and only if, the article that has been forgotten in school pertains to a health matter – like an asthma inhaler or epi-pen or medication – should a parent email the principal," the school board states. "In those rare situations, the school administration will attempt to retrieve that item and hand it to the parent at the front door. "
Starting Monday, more than 400 daycares, strategically chosen to be near health establishments, CHSLDs and CLSCs, will remain open to accommodate those aged four to 13; that will allow parents of 60,000 children to continue working.
The service will be offered from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday for the next two weeks.