News

Daycare solution's elementary

School district plans for before and after school

By P. CHRISTINE SMITH

Staff reporter

As part of a potential solution to challenges some families face with the elimination of school bus transportation to and from daycare centers, the Oak Harbor School District is seeking daycare providers and agencies to set up shop at the district’s six elementary schools beginning in the fall.

The school district is seeking proposals from any interested “community organizations and agencies” to provide “on-site before- and after-school care” for elementary aged students, beginning with the next school year.

The idea is to present a childcare option to families that need it at the school the students attend, said David Peterson, assistant superintendent. The district, in its request for proposals, says it will provide the gymnasium at each school for before-and after-school care for licensed, insured childcare providers.

Applicants can pick and choose the elementary schools at which they’d like to provide childcare services and must meet the specifications set out in the request for proposals.

The district will require the selected provider or providers to open up at 6:30 a.m. and remain open until the start of the school day, about 9 a.m. After school care will run from about 3:20 p.m. until 6 p.m. Additionally, providers will be required to remain open for early release and late start days and on all non-student days except federal holidays when school is closed. Interested providers can also submit proposals to use the elementary school facilities for summer programs for an additional fee.

Preference will be given to those providers that will charge parents a sliding-scale fee based on family income, those that can provide services for 45 or more children, and those that will incorporate a minimum of 30 minutes of reading and/or homework help after school.

Selected providers will be asked to pay the district a facility-use fee of $200 per month for each of the 10 months of the school year, for each school in which the provider operates.

After the opening of the bids, district officials will evaluate and select providers and those contracts will go before the school board for its approval. Contracts may go before the school board as early as its first regular meeting in July, said Peterson.

Soon after selections are approved, the district and the chosen providers will release information to parents on how to enroll.

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