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City of Seattle to Offer Child Care for 550 Children at 19 Sites Throughout Seattle



by Kamaria Hightower on September 1, 2020

Seattle Parks and Recreation Will Launch Seven Teen Resource Hubs to Support Students During Virtual Learning

SEATTLE (September 1, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that the City of Seattle will provide child care for 550 children at 19 sites through Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). The City-supported child care will provide full-day care to elementary-age kids and will support students’ virtual learning. In addition, SPR is launching seven Teen Resource Hubs across the city, and these will provide virtual learning supports, internet access, connections with caring adults, and referrals to basic needs and mental health resources. The City-sponsored child care and resource hubs are meant to supplement Seattle Public Schools (SPS) school year preparations and will ensure students are best-served in a virtual learning environment.

“Students, families, and educators are all gearing up to go back to school. This time of year looks significantly different for our Seattle families than years past, and it’s required all of us to figure out how we’re best serving students and families in a virtual learning environment,” said Mayor Durkan. “We know that lack of access to child care is a huge issue for families, both in Seattle and nationally. Accessible and safe child care is a crucial element to our City’s recovery and the long-term health and success of our kids. The City is grateful to Seattle Public Schools for their ongoing partnership as we navigate the unprecedented remote learning environment.”

Registration is open for City child care and scholarships are available to those who qualify (up to 90 percent of the monthly rate could be covered for families). Seattle Parks and Recreation targeted early outreach to families qualifying for scholarship. Historically, families that qualify for scholarships register later and closer to the program start date. As of Monday, August 31, 51 percent of those registered have received scholarships. Seattle Public Schools students can receive computers/tablets provided through the school district. A full list of SPR child care locations is available here.

Families can register for full or partial week care child care:

  • Online – www.seattle.gov/parks click on “Sign Up for Classes, Activities & More” and then under Activities click “licensed child care”

  • Contact preferred child care location

  • Contact the Business Service Center at 206-684-5177

WiFi will be available at all sites, and the program will support the virtual learning time and equipment that Seattle Public Schools will provide. The program begins Tuesday, September 8, 2020 will run 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, the program will follow current public health guidelines which include: daily wellness/temperature checks upon entry, regular cleaning and sanitation, clear policies about any illnesses, and the requirement of mask wearing by both staff and children.

In addition, the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL)’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has capacity to serve approximately 100 new income-eligible families with parents who are working or attending school. CCAP vouchers pay between 25-70 percent of child care costs for families with children younger than 13 years of age. Currently, 204 licensed child care providers in Seattle accept CCAP vouchers. DEEL is supporting CCAP providers with face covering deliveries and connections to pandemic relief resources as available. Families can begin the CCAP registration process here.

DEEL’s Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) is also accepting new participants. This school year, SPP offers flexible programming models for three-and four-year-olds across 26 providers to meet families’ needs. Parents can choose for their child to attend SPP in-person, participate from home through remote family-directed preschool, or a combination of the two. SPP tuition is calculated on a sliding scale, and will be free this school year for remote learning participants. Families can learn more about SPP here.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is providing seven Teen Resource Hubs at Southwest Teen Life Center, Miller Community Center, Garfield Teen Life Center, Meadowbrook Teen Life Center, Magnuson Community Center, Bitterlake Community Center, and South Lake High School. These hubs will support up to 200 students daily. The hubs will provide those furthest away from educational justice with a free opportunity for support with Seattle Public Schools virtual learning, provide in-person support for connectivity, and access to recreational, enrichment, and mentoring programs. The program begins September 8 and will run Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided daily. Participants need to register for the free program online. Registration will open by September 2, visit www.seattle.gov/parks to learn more.

“We are proud that we can support our communities and our schools in providing full day child care this school year from our community centers. Our aim is to provide this care to those who need it most in hopes that we may mitigate any widening of the opportunity gap that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary switch to virtual learning,” said Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, “It is through our strong partnership with the Associated Recreation Council (ARC) that we are able to provide a program that can both provide safe and engaging care, but to also do it in a way that compliments the virtual learning that students will be doing each day.”

The following City departments are also offering back to school programming:

Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) Supplemental Support for Schools and Community Partners: In August, DEEL announced investments in 30 schools and 10 community based organizations to provide K-12 educational supports for students furthest from educational justice. These investments offer supplemental support for SPS students through expanded learning, academic support, and college and career readiness experiences. See the full press release to learn more.

School Based Health Centers: In partnership with Public Health—Seattle & King County and health care providers, 28 school based health centers (SBHCs) will be provide in-person and virtual comprehensive medical and mental health care services to SPS students. SPS students can receive care at any SBHC, not just the center at the school they attend. In addition to routine vaccination, the school health centers will offer flu shots as they become available this fall. SBHCs have introduced new protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as staggered appointment times and limiting the number of people who enter the facility. Two new SBHCs will be opening this school year, at Lowell Elementary and at Nova High School in Seattle. For updates on SBHC services available at participating schools, visit SPS’ website here

Housing Supports: In partnership with the YWCA, SPS students experiencing homelessness or housing instability may be eligible to receive housing support such as rent assistance, permanent housing, or referrals to additional resources. Families in need of housing support should contact the Family Support Specialist for their school or call the YWCA directly at 206-209-5665. 

Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) The Creative Advantage has worked with the Seattle Art Museum to develop twice-monthly virtual convenings of educators, certified arts teachers, and community arts partners focused on skill building, community care, and support. The first convening occurred on Monday, August 24. Last Spring, ARTS created a series of online arts learning videos to support students, teachers, and families. ARTS created 125 arts lessons with 30 teaching artists, and continue to upload new content weekly. Check it out!

Office of Economic Development (OED) OED invests in the Youth Maritime Collaborative, which places 20 youth of color in maritime internships; that program is ongoing. In addition, OED contracts with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to train 15 Seattle young people to create websites for 15 Black-owned small businesses. Participating young people learn entrepreneurship, website design, and graphic design. Find more information here.

Office of Labor Standards (OLS) The Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance was recently amended requiring employers to provide employees who work in Seattle with paid leave when their family member’s school or place of care has been closed. Find more information here.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) SDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program will continue its pedestrian and bicycle safety education program at public schools, delivering content online to students. SDOT is closely tracking school plans for reopening, and will make decisions about flashing beacons and photo enforcement based on which school buildings, if any, have active school use. The