LAUSD Offering Child Care Subsidy For Staff As Schools Reopen
Parents employed full-time by the Los Angeles Unified School District who have young children will get a $500 a month subsidy to help pay for child care.
The district announced the program a week before some elementary schools and early education centers are scheduled to reopen.
(Questions about the district’s reopening plan? We’ve got you covered here.)
“It’s been a very long year since COVID-19 led to the closure of schools, and many of our employees have had to juggle their responsibilities at work with the need to take care of their own families, including young children,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a press release. “The support for childcare is another step we’re taking to help our employees so they can keep doing all they can to serve the needs of students and their families.”
Full-time employees are eligible for a $500-a-month payment for each child ages 5 and younger that is in a child care program. We’ve reached out to the district for more specifics on qualifying child care programs.
“I see this as a huge first step toward a longer term solution,” said San Pedro High School teacher Maya Suzuki Daniels. She started an online petition that gathered more than 2,000 signatures calling on the district to better support educator parents.
“We can figure things out individually, but after a year of doing that, not only are we exhausted on a very personal level, but I think we're also seeing the limits of what individuals can do and can take,” Daniels said. Her toddler son is currently in the phase where “he likes to climb up on top of things and then occasionally fall off them.”
Even with an extra $500 a month, families might still have a hard time finding care. Hundreds of L.A. County child care providers permanently shut down during the pandemic, and many that are still open are operating at a limited capacity to comply with public health guidelines.
LAUSD is working with both the union representing family child care providers and the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles to help families find care.
Parents can find the child care resource and referral agency that serves their neighborhood here.
For Daniels’ family, it will come down to whether they can find a program that feels safe for their son.
“I have never wanted to leave teaching, I love teaching more than anything, but I love my son, that's the first priority,” Daniels said.
READ MORE ABOUT CHILD CARE:
- Rising Demand For Child Care Rests On Providers Getting Vaccinated. How's That Going?
- California Child Care Spaces Have Been Disappearing For Years. The Pandemic Is Making It Even Harder To Survive
- A 10-Year Plan For Early Childhood In California With Uncertain Next Steps
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