Future uncertain for View Royal YMCA-YWCA amid pandemic
Published Tuesday, July 28, 2020 7:59AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2020 11:00AM PDT
VICTORIA -- Rachel Holme is a single mom who has been forced to shift her schedule to working seven days a week from home – just in the mornings — so she can care for her two-year-old daughter, Emily, during the pandemic.
Emily’s daycare at the YMCA-YWCA in View Royal shut down months ago and still hasn’t reopened.
Holme says she’s getting pulled in different directions and it’s stressful. “I feel like I’m not the best worker that I want to be, or the best parent that I want to be,” says Holme.
Holme says the daycare hasn’t told her or the other 27 families with children there when, or even if, it will reopen — making planning for the fall difficult.
Holme says the communication from the daycare has been “terrible.”
“The Y has provided so little communication, and they’re not even telling us if they will reopen,” she said.
The YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island has reopened its two other daycare locations, in downtown Victoria and Westhills in Langford.
CEO Derek Gent says with overall revenues for its facilities down by 85 per cent due to the pandemic, it can’t afford to open all three centres yet.
He says if the province extended its emergency funding for daycares beyond its current deadline of Aug. 31, it might help with opening the View Royal location, known as Eagle Creek, in the fall.
Gent says the organization doesn’t want to create false expectations for parents by committing to a reopening date, and the earliest the daycare at Eagle Creek could open is October.
“It’s affecting so many people, in so many different ways, beyond the health-care issue,” Gent says of the pandemic. “It’s affecting lives.”
The not-for-profit group has made extra daycare spots available for the kids that would normally go to Eagle Creek at its other two locations.
But Gent acknowledges that the commute many families would face to send their children there makes those spots impossible for some.
“It’s going to be two hours of driving," Holme says. "One hour to drop her off… then another hour to pick her up, so that is not an option for everybody."
The province says the View Royal location has received twice its usual base funding from the government during the pandemic, even while closed.
Nevertheless, Gent says it's unclear whether the facility, including its daycare centre, will ever reopen at all.