East County school district offers free child care for essential workers

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Cajon Valley Union School District will begin providing free emergency child care later this month for parents who qualify as essential workers and have students enrolled in the district’s schools.

“Child care under these circumstances is not something we’ve ever done before,” Superintendent David Miyashiro told FOX 5.

CVUSD includes 27 schools with more than 17,000 students in grades K-8.

Many students have parents who are either not working or working from home. But parents with jobs deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic are out of the home working and many need help with child care.

The district just sent out a survey to parents to find out who’s eligible for child care assistance and to help with planning.

“We’re looking at when parents need the support, when parents will need to drop their kids off,” Miyashiro said. “It’s looking like a lot of our health care workers start very early in the morning, so we’re looking at a very flexible and adjustable program designed around safety and around parent needs.”

Since the child care on offer is limited to families with essential workers, Miyashiro says social distancing at the schools should not be a problem.

“Our classrooms are quite large, and when there’s only five or six people in them, it’d be quite easy to set up comfortable learning spaces and activities where kids can engage and just not be close to each other,” Miyashiro said.

The district plans to start the child care program on April 20, right after the district’s spring break.

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