Daycares: What's available, what's not

All daycares run from inside English public elementary schools will be closed Wednesday, regardless of whether they are run by the board or are independent, according to the OCDSB.

However, daycares attached to schools and with separate entrances will not be required to close, as long as there is a principal or other worker in the building.

Parents unsure of which situation applies to their children should contact their daycare directly.

A number of Ottawa-area community centres and organizations are stepping in to offer parents a place to leave their children in advance of the planned one-day walkout by English public school elementary teachers tomorrow.

While many parents plan to take the day off and stay home to look after their kids, others are looking for child-care options.

The City of Ottawa has extended its before- and after-school program, but only for children already in the program.

Community centres offer camps

Community centres, such as Glebe, Jack Purcell and Dovercourt, are offering day camps for Wednesday, and the Ottawa Senators have also offered a full-day hockey camp for players aged five to 12.

A number of clubs are also stepping into the breach to provide one-day services.

The Loft dance studio in Kanata is planning arts and crafts and dancing all day. Owner Deborah Lantz-Kennedy said putting together the day was a last-minute idea.

"A couple of moms came up to me on the weekend, and asked if I would open on Wednesday and host one of my parties that I do for the kids," said Lantz-Kennedy.

For the Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts, they are planning the same activities they normally do when the kids are out of school on teacher Professional Development days.

Attracting new business

The martial arts gym will double its staff to provide full-day care to its regulars, for free. Other kids in the neighbourhood can also try out at the club for fifty dollars.

Manager Nick Castiglia said it might lead to new enrollees.

"You know it helps the community and it helps the business, for sure, 100 per cent," said Castiglia.