Joint Board Matter With Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust
Background: Because of COVID-19, the Fairfax County Public Schools School Board and the School Superintendent are going through the excruciatingly difficult task of determining how educational services will be delivered to 189,000 students this fall. The decisions they make will have huge impacts on students, their families, teachers, administrators and other staff. Likely to be included among those impacts will be an unprecedented need for child care services.
In general terms, it seems students are offered the option to complete full-time virtual school or a combination of a couple days a week of in-school and the balance as virtual. It can be anticipated that FCPS teachers and staff whose children normally attend school full-time will need child care services for at least several days per week. In addition, in other families where both parents work, especially where both parents work outside their home, there could be a huge need for child care services during the days when the children are not in school.
For the sake of the children and their families it is essential that good quality child care services be made available. It is also critical to advance the county’s efforts to restart our economy that those parents who work but do not normally need child care when schools are fully open can work and contribute to economic activity.
On June 19, the Board received a memorandum from staff that provided an “Update on Community Child Care and SACC Programs Supporting the Reopening of Fairfax County Schools.” In essence, and except for SACC, that memo described the county’s role as that of a provider of information about existing child care opportunities. Hopefully that will be adequate and the existing network of child care providers can meet the needs created when FCPS reopens in an unprecedented way. However, it seems far more likely that there will be significant unmet child care needs and that the county will need to take a significantly expanded role to ensure that those needs are met.
Motion: Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I move this Board direct County staff to:
- Continue to work with FCPS to identify ways to meet the needs for child care services once the schools have reopened; and,
- Report to the Board on progress made with respect to identifying the extent of need for child care services, how staff expects that need to be met, and any additional county resources that may be needed to meet that need.