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Northshore Schools expanding child-care services

  • Written by Bill Lewis

The Northshore School District is expanding its before- and after-school care program, with a goal of having services available in the fall at every elementary and middle school in the district.

The district will provide the child care services from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. five days a week, including early release days, through partnerships with the Northshore YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, and Champions, a private educational child-care provider, according to district Superintendent Michelle Reid.

The expansion of the program is “a step toward supporting our students more thoughtfully” in before- and after-school programs, Reid said.

The partnerships will expand the programs to all six of the district’s middle schools, when the district shifts from a 7th through 9th grade junior high model, to a 6th through 8th grade middle school model in the 2017-2018 school year. Currently, child-care programs are available at three junior high schools.

The middle school programs will be run by the Boys and Girls Clubs, and offer homework help, sports and other activities. The Boys and Girls Club charges a fee for families with students participating in the program, although Reid told the Northshore school board at its May 9 meeting that the organization will provide scholarships to families that are unable to pay.

The elementary school child-care services will be provided by the Northshore YMCA and Champions, Reid said, and should be operated without the waiting lists that have kept some families from receiving the services.

While the district’s goal is to provide the services at all of the elementary and middle schools, Reid said the Boys and Girls Clubs require a minimum number of students attend before it offers the program at individual schools.

The clubs are currently accepting registrations for the middle school program and, Reid said, surveys of families in the district have shown that there should be enough demand to support the program at each middle school.
At the elementary level, there is a question at Kokanee School in Woodinville about whether there is enough space to accommodate the program.
“We are still working with Kokanee to find space for care on-site at that school,” Reid said.

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