NEW YORK — As blended learning remains an option for many parents for the upcoming academic year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is working to provide at least 100,000 students with adequate child care while they are remote learning.
The mayor discussed a recent survey conducted where 75% of parents said they want their children to go back to school.
However, parents have also expressed that they would have problems if they can’t get the adequate amount of child care, especially if students will only have in-person classes two or three times a week.
“We’ve been trying every way to create new child care,” the mayor said, “to accommodate a new need and new reality.”
The locations will provide safe, quality child care to students on days they are working remotely, according to Director of the Office of Management and Budget Melanie Hartzog.
Programs are being designed for children between the pre-K and Grade 8 school years.
"We’ve got to give more ability to parents who need to go back to work," de Blasio said.
New York City has been working with partners across the five boroughs to identify locations and staffing to maximize available child care for families by September.
Potential locations include community centers, libraries and cultural organizations.
All sites will be designed to practice social distancing and prioritize health, Mayor de Blasio added.
The remote days will be framed as learning labs, according to Hartzog. Not only will locations provide supervision, they will also provide activities and enrichment recreation.
Under the early childhood programming, locations will provide a safe, supportive environment for children ages 3 to 4 and with age-appropriate activities to support learning and development.
For children in Kindergarten through Grade 8, the city will expand Department of Youth and Community Development programming to provide care during and after school hours daily.
The mayor said he is "hopeful" city schools will be ready to open in September under the state's reopening formula.
Schools can reopen if the region is in Phase 4 of reopening and if the daily infection rate remains below 5% or lower using a 14-day average since "unPAUSE" was lifted, according to the formula. However, the governor also said schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9% using a seven-day average after August 1.
Schools closed in the middle of March as health care workers battled to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.