LAUSD strike: what are childcare options?
- US News
- March 18, 2023
- No Comment
Parents of students struggling to look after childcare ahead of a strike that could close the Los Angeles Unified School District campus for three days next week got some relief Friday afternoon.
The LA County Department of Parks and Recreation announced that it is temporarily opening a free recreation program at 16 parks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The program includes sports, games and arts and crafts for 7 to 17 year olds. The department also opens the Deane Dana Friendship Nature Center and the Stoneview Nature Center to provide meals. Breakfast is served from 8am to 10am and lunch from 11am to 1pm
Here’s the announcement from the LA County Parks Department.
County parks are an option for parents after the county said it was unable to provide supervision and safety for students during the strike and had to close schools. But some campuses could open to students, the district said, if enough staff come. And the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks hasn’t announced a plan; Spokeswoman Rose Watson previously told the Times the agency could open 22 leisure centers for all-day activities.
So what other options do parents have? Aside from waiting for announcements from LA Unified and the city, they can pay to enroll a child in a camp or afterschool program, or they can look for a nonprofit that offers free childcare.
There is still a chance that the strike will not take place.
“I think there’s a misconception that it’s a done deal, and it really isn’t,” said Jenna Schwartz, founder of Parents Supporting Teachers. “Strikes are the last resort.”
Members of Cadre, an organization of South Los Angeles parents, said they felt childcare was not considered when the unions, representing both teachers and support staff, discussed the possibility of a strike. The organization supports the strike but believes day care options should have been on the table, said Roslyn Broadnax, a cadre leader.
“We have parents in our community who work two jobs; We have single parents and parents with three or four children,” she said. Taking time off work to babysit the kids or paying for childcare are not options, she noted.
Here is a list of some organizations and businesses that parents can consider if schools are closed.
The Port of Los Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs offer arts, music, sports and academic activities beginning at 8:00 am at their six non-academic campuses in San Pedro, Wilmington and other nearby neighborhoods. Current members can join for free; annual membership is $25.
An east Los Angeles nonprofit, InnerCity Struggle, plans to open its community center in Boyle Heights to offer educational activities, homework assistance and meals throughout the day.
Got Game Camp opened its online registration portal for LA Unified students for a program at Cornerstone Church in Westchester for $95 per day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The group is attempting to secure additional facilities in Mid-City and the Valley. The camp also provides trainers who come home and work with “groups” of four to eight students. Call (310) 975-8524, ext. 1. (If the school resumes before the planned duration of the strike, the camp cannot offer a refund. The remaining balance can be used for spring or summer camps or after-school programs.)
Monarch Camps in the San Fernando Valley offers programs with drop-off times between 7:30am and 8am and pickup times between 2:30pm and 3pm. There is also an option for later afternoon care. Children can look forward to sports, crafts, special projects and games. You can register for $75 per day or $65 per day for each sibling of a current member. Call (818) 304-3016.
Lizzy’s Schoolhouse in Sherman Oaks offers a day camp for children ages 5 and up. The program runs from 9am to 3pm for $60 per day. Places are limited, advance registration is required. Call (818) 616-3235 or text (661) 313-1352.
Mia’s Gymnastics, Tumbling and Dance Academy is opening to all students aged 4 to 12 affected by the strike. For the three days, programming consists of homework time (including tutoring); play open gym; a gymnastics, tumbling, or dance class; Arts and crafts; and other educational activities. The program runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $90 per day; Breakfast, lunch or snacks cost an extra $20. Register online or call (747) 444-2337.
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