Personal tools

Reentry Plan News

Posted: September 15, 2020

Child Care Programs

Bernalillo County is opening four of its community centers and offering all-day care for school-aged children.

Space is limited. First-come, first-served.

Call the center of your choosing by Friday, September 18 about availability.

Schedule

  • Start date: Monday, Sept. 21, 2020
  • Program times: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Full-day)
  • Cost: $60 a week
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner will be served.

Centers

For more information, visit BernCo Offers All-Day Care for School-aged Kids.

"Will APS Provide Childcare?" Video Transcript

[Off-Screen Question] "Will APS offer child care for staff and families?"

[DAPHNE HARVEY-STRADER, Director of Coordinated School Health] So I'll start by saying that APS does not offer child care, especially for our school-age students. Yet we really understand the importance that these programs have. Not only do they help working families, but they also offer students opportunities to learn new things, and discover new skills and interests, like science and fine arts, sports, and poetry, and even community service.

Especially in light of students learning remotely this school year, the need for these programs has become all the more critical. So although the district doesn't provide our own child care services, in the past, our school's role has been to provide very low-cost facilities for community partners to come in and use our spaces to serve students and families with Before and After School services. Our role has primarily been to match partners with schools, and to make sure that programs were safe including ensuring that there are background clearances for all of their staff, and that they're working with facilities, and making sure that there are safety practices in programs, as well as to make sure that there's program quality.

So as the district developed the Re-entry Plan for the school year, we placed an extra attention on the need for child care services, and that's why we even placed them in the critical partners category. This was so important because we were already limited, um, by the number of adults that we're going to be able to be allowed on our campuses, especially those within the physical proximity of students in order for us to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus, but we knew that child care services were going to be so much needed. Then, when we recognized from the state, um, that we were gonna as a district be starting with a learning, uh, model that was a hybrid learning model, we recognized that there would be even more added programs specifically for full-base services for our students who weren't physically with us on our campuses.

So, when we started to think about this we looked at our own spaces: Would there be any opportunity for our own spaces to be able to run some of these programs? And we were really faced with the reality that the district doesn't have the space to teach our students, even half of them, while social distancing, and also have room for full-day child care programs. So that meant that all of our child care partners that we've normally worked with would have to find locations in the community that would host them for free or very low cost.

So our team has been working diligently and identified over 40 community partners to meet some of the child care, Before and After School, and club based program needs in our community. Unfortunately, of these 40 partners, there's there are less than 10 including the city and the county they even have the capacity to think about opening up full-day programs.

In addition, because the majority of these 10 program organizations are licensed as child care providers, we also need to find spaces that meet licensing requirements. So we reached out first to our faith-based partnerships through America Praise and the Shine Partnership, as well as with the city and the county, and started to look high and low for space and other resources to support the idea of full-day child care services outside of APS campuses. Over 21 faith-based organizations offered to rent their locations to providers, and we're still looking for spaces, so if you know of any, please email us at outofschooltime@aps.edu

The providers are still working to see if the cost is within their budget and if they can get the spaces licensed through uh the child care licensing bureau. We're supporting them with advocacy with the children youth and families child care bureau as much as we can as well, as the child care regulations are pretty stringent. We're also working with the city and the county who are two very strong, connected partners with the district, and working with them in order for them to consider or to already move their Before and After School programs that were held on community centers and making them full-day programs.

So with so many working their hardest to try to meet this need, new full-day child care options are starting to slowly become available. If you're looking for child care, we recommend that you go to newmexicokids.org to search their child care directory. You can also call them at 505-277-7090 if you need to talk to someone about a referral to a child care provider, and they'll work with you on your specific situation. We also recommend that you go to the city and county websites, and you can find that at cabq.gov/family/community-centers for the city and bernco.gov/fun for the county's website. There you will find information about their services and supports, especially those programs that they will be holding in their community centers.

Finally, the APS website will also have information about child care services as it comes available to us. We understand that child care is a critical need for you and your family and for the whole community, and we're working hard along with all of our amazing partners from faith-based organizations, from community providers, the city and the county to make sure that services are available and that you have access to the information that you're needing around them. We want to thank all of our partners, and we especially want to thank you for your patience.