RPS parents to wait another couple weeks for emergency child care at schools

RPS parents to wait another couple weeks for emergency child care at schools
RPS emergency child care to launch within two weeks. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Parents of Richmond Public Schools students will have to wait another couple weeks for emergency child care at schools, as the Richmond School Board continued to hash out details on the program at its virtual meeting, Monday.  

The child care program has been a slow-go as RPS leaders have been figuring out logistics and going back and forth with city officials, for several weeks. More than 60 percent of RPS parents who responded to a survey said that didn’t know who was going to watch their children, once the school year started.

The Richmond School Board ran into a hurdle earlier this month after city leaders said that the contract for the emergency child care service should be between RPS and the agencies directly, as opposed to the city itself, causing more delays.

The school board agreed to move forward with agreements between RPS and several child care providers, Monday night, including the YMCA of Greater Richmond, Peter Paul Development Center, and Richmond Behavioral Health Association.

The program would give supervision for about 500 kids, spread across five school buildings. Emergency child care at two churches has already launched for an additional hundred children. School board members said if more space is needed, more spaces or providers could be added at a later date. All required safety and cleaning protocols will be followed. Priority for placement would be given to kids whose parents who are essential workers, during the pandemic, like healthcare workers.               

About $3 million in Federal Funding from the Cares Act will help parents afford the child care, about $30 dollars per week, or free for families using public assistance programs.

No exact launch date for the child care centers inside the school buildings as announced just yet. The school board said it hoped to have it launched within the next couple weeks.

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