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Roanoke County Schools establish task force to partner with local organizations for childcare

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - When school starts nearly a month from now, some of Roanoke County’s youngest students will be in the classroom daily, but many other students will be on a hybrid schedule that will make coordinating childcare that much harder for some working parents.

What would the children do during the day when they’re not in the school building?

That is the question on the minds of parents for children twelve and under, and now of several key players on a newly-formed task force in Roanoke County. The task force is made up of school administrators, area organizations and churches.

Cost is also a major concern for families and the group is working with non-profits and for-profits to provide free or cheaper options.

“In addition we are also going to be soliciting financial contribution scholarships, so that parents that can’t afford the fees that we have to charge through these programs, they will be able to do that.”, said Tom McCracken, co-chair of the task force.

And, for parents who are worried about safety, Michelle Davis, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest VA, says they have plans in place.

“We take temperatures of every child every day and before they walk in we ask a questionnaire that’s typically common health questions. Some are: have you traveled out of state, how are you feeling today, do you have a cough?”

McCracken said this is a work in progress, but a step in the right direction.

“There’s a lot of things we need to navigate through a lot of issues, a lot of laws, insurance, background checks, each program is different and we are trying to develop some synergy and continuity,”he said.

The United Way of the Roanoke Valley is providing an application for families to fill out and be paired up with the right childcare option for them.

Parents can find and fill out that application at Smart2Start.org. The YMCA as well as The Boys and Girls Club are taking applications for employment as they prepare to get these programs underway.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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