County Drops K-6 Child Care Program Prices, Library Sites

Facing lower than expected enrollment, county supervisors voted to cut both the size and cost of the K-6 Distance Learning Child Care Program. And with that decision, two libraries that were closed to make space for the program, then reopened Friday Sept. 11, will not be closed again to make room for childcare.

The county government set up the program to give parents a safe place to leave their kids while away at work, with most students not going into school buildings during distance learning. It is open to kids from kindergarten through sixth grade.

It was also designed to make room for up to an estimated 1,200 students, and some supervisors and county staff at the time thought even that would be too few to meet demand, based on an earlier survey of public employees that had found close to 7,000 families interested. But when the program launched weeks later, only a few days before classes began, only a fraction of that number had signed up. As of Tuesday night, there were 205 kids enrolled.

With those low numbers, and concerned that the cost of the program may be one of the reasons for low enrollment, supervisors voted in the early morning hours Wednesday, Sept. 16 to cut the program and its fees roughly in half. That also means some of the spaces set aside for the program, in community centers and the Rust and Ashburn libraries, have been released to go back to their normal work.

Supervisors faced criticism over their decision behind closed doors, on short notice and with no public notice in advance to close the two libraries. After the child care spaces were set up inside, the libraries were reopened with the understanding that if enrollment grew, they could be closed again.

Shrinking the program to 600 seats also cuts the enrollment cost almost in half. The monthly fee for the full-day program is now $690, down from $1,005, and the school-day program is now $345, down from $660.

Families that have already paid the higher rate are expected to get a credit toward the next month, although Director of Management and Budget Erin McLellan said staff members would work with families individually.

“These are really interesting and tough times to know what to do and what not to do,” said County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large). “I would rather have actually had too many seats and not needed them, than not have enough seats for childcare.”

For K-6 Distance learning Child Care Program details and registration, go toloudoun.gov/DLchildcare. The county also offers after school programs such as County After School Activities or CASA and Youth After School or YAS. Learn more about those atloudoun.gov/1199/After-School-Programs.

For more information about library reopening and COVID-19 safety precautions, visitlibrary.loudoun.gov/reopening.

4 thoughts on “County Drops K-6 Child Care Program Prices, Library Sites

  • 2020-09-16 at 3:40 pm
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    “These are really interesting and tough times to know what to do and what not to do,” said County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).”

    We’ve noticed.

    Get the schools reopened. Phyllis and her politically motivated actions are forcing unnecessary stress and hardship on Loudoun families. She’s pushing our kids backwards a year or more, and imparting psychological harm yet to be measured. Her efforts have devastated our vibrant local small business economy and restaurants. People are out of work, savings, and hope. Phyliss doesn’t care. Her lack of transparency in governmental meetings and callous disregard for the right of the people and press to know with flippant “file a FOIA” attitude demonstrates she puts Party above Loudoun families every single time.

    There’s a bug. We get it. Suppressing and harming the lives of others is not the common sense way to deal with it.

    • 2020-09-17 at 10:42 am
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      You realize she’s on the County Board, NOT the School board, right? The County Board has little to nothing to do with what the school board chooses to do.

      I find it very strange that I keep seeing people talking like she’s personally responsible for all sorts of decisions that she and the County Board have very little or nothing to do with- mask requirements (state), business closings (state), schools not reopening in person (school Board), etc. It’s almost as if these people are racist and/or sexist and just looking for things they can blame the first black female County Board chair in the history of Virginia for.

      • 2020-09-17 at 2:57 pm
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        It’s almost as if some people are ignorant of the power and influence Phyllis has. She could easily use that influence to adjust attitudes at Education Court, but she won’t. She’s too beholden to the industrial education complex.

        At a time when Loudoun could have moved faster on reopening struggling businesses, Phyllis decided to lump us in with urban areas and continue the lock downs. She did it with zero input from the people of Loudoun, begging her boss in Richmond to include Loudoun in further draconian suppression of people’s livelihoods. She could have used her influence to ease us out of the lock downs, but she didn’t.

        She could have used her common sense when people and local media asked her why she unilaterally took that step, instead, she told everyone to file a FOIA request.

        At the height of the virus, while lecturing us about the need to follow the Fool of Richmond’s executive orders to the T, she had no problem jumping into the crowds to protest on the courthouse lawn. That was cool, but people going to church or a restaurant was not.

        At a time when she knew there was economic hardship coming, due to self-inflicted governmnet mandates, she could have used her influence to freeze taxes on Loudoun families. But she didn’t. She raised them.

        Unlike you Western, I don’t view her as a “black female.” I view her as human being who makes poor policy decisions as a politician. I view her as a flawed politician who boasts about representing all Loudouners, but in reality, her favored constituents come first. The rest of the people are invisible and their views ignored.

        I find it very strange you throw racist/sexist bombs at people Western, when you should ask yourself why you view Phyllis as just a “black female,” rather than the self serving politician she actually is.

  • 2020-09-16 at 4:41 pm
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    Again, lack of leadership by Eric Williams and his merry band.

    Can someone ask Williams why the virus is a concern in our schools, but not a concern in libraries used for baby sitting?

    Asking for a friend.

    Open our schools!

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