By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A limited space all-day childcare program will be offered by Bend Parks and Recreation starting this fall.
In partnership with Bend-La Pine Schools, the program will be held at 14 elementary schools throughout the district to support working families.
“We just felt like it was important to step up now and help provide that alternative childcare for working parents,” Sue Boettner, recreation services manager, said. “So that they can make sure their kids are safe, that they’re getting the education that they need, and then that they’re safe and in an enriching environment.”
They call it Operation Recreation “Team Up.”
The alternative arrangement for first-to-fifth-grade children is a continuation of what BPRD’s summer programs look like.
The only difference is time set aside for distance learning.
“It’s not intended to replace school or education,” Boettner said. “We will have some education assistants guiding children through that part of the morning time.”
All-day program details:
Grades 1-5 (Kindergarten not eligible)
Dates: September 16 – October 23 (additional sessions will be added if distance learning is extended by Bend-La Pine Schools)
Schedule: Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
Location: All Bend elementary schools except for Amity and Westside Village. Children will be assigned to their home school whenever possible.
Fee: $200 per week (due bi-weekly)
Financial assistance available for qualifying families
Boettner says she expects between 275 and 500 children in the program, and hopes to keep each at their home school.
BPRD will also follow all Oregon Health Authority guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks.
Applying does not guarantee a place in the program.
However, if there are more applications than available spots, BPRD will be conduct a lottery to select participants and a designated number of spaces will be reserved for lower income families in need of financial assistance.
Applications are open Aug. 26 through Aug. 31.
Applicants will be notified on Sept. 2 if they have secured a spot or are placed on the waitlist. Applicants will also be notified about financial assistance awarded at this time.
For more information, visit https://www.bendparksandrec.org/activities/childcare/