B.C. teachers' strike childcare options raising red flags

B.C. parents are being cautioned over using unlicensed childcare in the event of an all-out strike by the province's teachers. (CBC File Photo)

As parents in B.C. rush to find childcare in case of an all-out strike by the province's teachers, concerns are being raised about the safety of some options that are appearing online.

A flood of ads have begun appearing on online sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji, offering temporary "pop-up" childcare.

While some appear to be written by other parents willing to help out — for a fee — parents are being advised that this could still be a risky solution to their childcare crunch.

"A desperate parent might just do it, and unlicensed daycare is really not advisable," warns Monica Moberg speaking for the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council.

While facilities looking after three children do not require a license, Greg Ritchie, from Vancouver Coastal Health — the organization that issues daycare licenses — advises caution against unlicensed larger-scale childcare.

"One would wonder why they are not licensed,' he says. "To me that would be an indication that it might be a miss."

He recommends parents make sure any potential provider has first aid training, and to always ask for a criminal record check.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation says the earliest they might stage a full-scale walkout would be Monday afternoon.