VICTORIA -- The Cowichan Valley School District (SD79) is accepting the children of essential service workers into schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school district is joining a number of other Cowichan-area childcare services that are looking after children while their parents work on the frontlines of the health crisis.

Classrooms at eight elementary schools will open to kindergarten to Grade 7 children on Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Essential service workers with children in this age group are asked to contact their school’s principal to a make arrangements.

Meanwhile, workers in essential sectors who have children under the age of five in the Cowichan Valley area can contact the Clements Centre Society at 250-746-4135 to arrange child care.

“The Board of Education acknowledges the importance of providing free, on-site care and educational instruction for children of Essential Service Workers during this public health crisis,” said Candace Spilsbury, chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District.

“We are pleased to be able to work with community partners to develop a support system for essential service workers with children.”

On March 16, B.C. suspended all in-class teaching to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, teachers and schools have been working to transition to remote learning.

Some school districts say that the transition has been challenging, however, as teachers face a range of variables, such as each student’s access and ability to work online and students who may need extra supports when learning.