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Savings to parents or the system?

The B.C. government says it will financially compensate affected parents if the provincial teachers strike continues into September.

B.C.'s Finance Minister Mike De Jong promised Thursday that parents of children under 13 years old will get $40 per day per child to help with daycare costs and tutoring.

He said the cash will come from the money the province has saved under the teachers' job action.

De Jong said he recognizes that “there are costs that accrue to parents and families” when their children are not in school.

“Parents can utilize that money to acquire tutoring for their children, they can use their money to explore other educational opportunities as they see fit. For others it'll be basic daycare,” he told reporters in Victoria.

De Jong insists this is a contingency plan only and hopes the strike will be resolved before the end of August.

Eligible parents will be able to apply online, and will be paid by cheque starting in October.

The minister said safeguards are being implemented to ensure money only goes to parents who have children registered in public schools.

The strike, which started seven weeks ago, was prompted by a dispute over class sizes, composition and wages.

There are currently no scheduled talks between two sides.

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