SHERMAN OAKS, CA — The City of Los Angeles announced a bold move to help low-income families struggling with the adjustment to distanced learning. The “Safer At Parks” program will turn 50 recreation centers into daytime childcare locations, providing a school-like environment for parents who can’t afford to leave their children at home.
Alternative Learning centers will be available to elementary and middle school students between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Students will receive meals at some locations, supervised learning spaces, and outdoor activities.
“During COVID-19, securing childcare is an enormous burden and concern for all working women, but for working-poor mothers it is utterly impossible to navigate without sacrificing food and rent or the health and safety of their families,” said Councilmember Nury Martinez, who introduced the plan to the City Council. “These Alternative Learning Sites provide a solution, while allowing our students, many who do not have WiFi or the space to effectively study at home, a place to get fed, do their schoolwork and stay active in a socially distanced environment.”
Safety protocols such as daily screenings and required face coverings will be in effect to keep students and staff safe.
The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center will be available for students from first to fifth grade, but will cost $150 per week to enroll. Nearby Delano Recreation Center offers free services for the same age group, but is currently on the waitlist.
The enrollment process includes an initial registration process, followed by a weekly or monthly registration depending on the dates your student will attend.
Click here to register for the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center, or here for the Delano Recreation Center.
This article originally appeared on the Sherman Oaks Patch