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Denver to offer low-cost child care to teachers — and if there’s room, families — during start of remote learning

Aliyah Biggs, 6, second from left and Ashli Ramos-Rosales, 8, raise their hands to take part in an after-school talent show at Ashley Elementary in Denver.
Aliyah Biggs, 6, second from left, and Ashli Ramos-Rosales, 8, raise their hands to take part in an after-school talent show at Denver’s Ashley Elementary in 2017.
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Denver teachers who are parents will have access to low-cost child care for the first few weeks of school, which will be held remotely because of the coronavirus.

In a letter to staff Friday, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova said the district’s after-school program, along with some community organizations, will provide child care for teachers, principals, custodians, food service workers, and child care workers from Aug. 17 to Sept. 4.

Most remote classes are scheduled to start Aug. 24, but teachers are expected to contact students the week of Aug. 17 for virtual check-ins. Classes will remain online through at least Sept. 4 — and possibly longer if local health officials deem it unsafe to reopen campuses.

Providing teachers with child care addresses a big problem encountered by many parents last spring: how to work from home and care for young children at the same time. The district did not provide any child care when schools were closed in March, April, and May.

From Aug. 17 to Sept. 4, child care will be provided for four hours per day, from 8 a.m. to noon, at about 65 district elementary schools. It will be open to children ages 5-12 and cost “no more than $10 a day,” Cordova said, though she noted the cost could be higher for teachers in charter schools. Spots will be limited to 60 children per site, or about 3,900 children total.

The care will include supporting children with their own remote learning, Cordova said.

School-based staff can sign up for care starting Aug. 3. If spaces are still available on Aug, 8, registration will open to paraprofessionals and specialized service providers. If there is still room on Aug. 10, registration will open to any other Denver Public Schools employees, as well as any families with children in the district. Registration will close Aug. 13.

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