Last night the Seattle School Board approved a proposal to shutdown 19 on-site child cares throughout the district in order to make space for more classrooms. They received a lot of opposition from childcare providers and families, but insist that education is a priority over childcare. There is no doubt that this will adversely affect many families who rely on before- and after-school care. Kids Co (the organization and the families) has been at the forefront of the opposition to the proposal. We are working with School’s Out Washington, a local organization that advocates for accessible, quality childcare for all children, on next steps for on-site childcares.
We do not currently know which schools and childcares will be affected by this proposal. Due to an amendment to the proposal last night, principals are to be informed by February 3rd if the onsite childcare space at their school is to be reclaimed next school year. Kids Co. operates 8 on-site childcares within the district. We have been partnered with John Hay Elementary since 1990. Kids Co. here at John Hay is licensed to serve 78 children every morning and afternoon. If the space here is reclaimed by the school district, the space we move to will most likely accommodate fewer children and may force us to drop our Pre-K program next year.
That’s really all the information I have right now. Like I said before, we won’t know which spaces will be reclaimed until early February. Kids Co. is working on finding alternative sites, should the need arise. I’ll keep you updated as things progress.
Thank you for all of your support and understanding throughout this ordeal. I am truly touched by the number of Kids Co. families that involved themselves in our opposition to this proposal.