Applications for the Kids INC afterschool care program in Bend opens Tuesday, and there is a change for parents this coming school year.
The program is offering both full-time and part-time care options. Bend Park and Recreation District said the change came after receiving suggestions directly from parents who attended town hall meetings and filled out online surveys.
BPRD said that while 80% of people indicated they needed full-time care, 90% said they would be interested in part-time if they couldn’t get full-time.
How to apply for Kids INC
Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 7. Sign-ups can be made at the BPRD website. For those who can’t access it, they can call 541-389-7275.
A lottery will then determine who gets in and who is on the wait list. Parents will be told by June 17 what their status is and will have until June 23 to save their spot with a first month deposit.
Those who get a part-time spot will have the option to move to full-time when space becomes available, should they indicate on the application that they want full-time care. BPRD said that could happen before or during the school year, depending on staffing levels and space available at school.
Kids INC for parents who need to work
BPRD said the main purpose of Kids INC is to provide afterschool care for parents who have to work at those hours and have no other options for their children. BPRD said it will prioritize those families who need full-time care in order to continue working.
Those parents who don’t absolutely need Kids INC for afterschool care are asked to consider one of the other BPRD enrichment and sport programs.
“Thank you to all families who took time to engage with us. It deepened our understanding of the importance of afterschool care to support working families and how we may be able to help more families with part-time care,” said Matt Mercer, BPRD recreation services director, in a statement.
BPRD recently announced a partnership with the Bend-La Pine School District, Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University-Cascades to provide paid jobs, internships and scholarships for students to help boost staffing for the Kids INC program.