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Portland Public Schools proposing a childcare plan starting with school year

The proposal for full-day child care for younger students is still a work in progress, but PPS is floating it with parents and looking for input.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Portland Public Schools is considering a plan to offer all-day child care. It would cover kids from ages 5 to 12 who would otherwise be learning at home. 

The plan is not finalized, for that reason, school officials are not talking to media about it yet. But the information they've put out already answers some questions.

Affordable full-day child care could make a big difference for families who are trying to figure out how they'll be home for their kids with all-remote learning and go to work as well.

Here's what we know PPS is telling parents: This would be full-day care, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. It would be offered for PPS students, ages 5 -12 years old, as well as some students from other districts whose parents work at Portland Public Schools. The child care would be staffed by providers like the YMCA and Champions and based on staffing costs, child care is estimated at about $1000 dollars per month. Financial aid will be available for qualifying families.

The child care itself would be a combination of learning support and enrichment activities like arts and science, and recess, snacks and meals, and other things. And it would be done with health and safety guidelines followed.

Two moms we spoke to said they like the idea of helping families but want more specifics nailed down by the district.

“I think it’s something we need in our community to make sure people who need childcare have access to child care, so I was excited to see they were working on proposing a plan for families with a need,” said Ashley Koch.

“I think the details of how the child care will be enacted is my biggest question, where will they be? Who will be with them? how long will the coverage be?” said Devon Healey.

PPS has a survey out right now for parents to take, regarding the child care plan.  Parents can fill it out up until 9:00 pm on Sunday, August 9.