Parents turn to Milwaukee Recreation for childcare during virtual learning

Milwaukee Recreation helps parents with childcare during pandemic
Posted at 7:00 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 15:01:32-04

MILWAUKEE — Before COVID-19, Milwaukee Recreation provided before and after school care. Now, you can sign up for that and have staff take care of your kids during the school day.

Recreation Coordinator Leighton Cooper says if families need it, Milwaukee Recreation can watch your children during the school week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"We know that there is a huge need in the community with students having a lack of technology and access to the internet," Cooper said.

Dava Sloan's 8-year-old son took part in the camp program over summer. She works at home but also has a newborn.

"Being able to just drop him off in the morning with his mask and his lunch and letting him have that interaction with other students and other kids was really helpful," said Sloan.

Since phase one of Milwaukee Public Schools re-opening plan calls for virtual learning, this in-person help is happening at nearly fifty school buildings in the district.

"Does this go against the district's plan to start school off virtually?" Kristin Byrne with TMJ4 News asked Cooper.

"When you're talking about limiting the number of students who can participate in the program, in an after school program or childcare service, it's easier to do that. If we're able to limit the footprint in the building, that helps to keep families safe," Cooper said.

He said COVID-19 safety is top of mind for Milwaukee Recreation. Organizers have capped the number of students at each facility to seventy-five.

"We'll be practicing social distancing, students will be wearing masks, we have very strict protocols to receive both students and staff in our facilities," said Cooper. He said students will also have their temperature checked with a digital thermometer before they enter the school building.

"There's a contingency of folks that still feel that we should not be operating programs at all and I do respect and understand that. Out of respect for those families that still need services and have to go to work, we're trying to assist as much as we can," said Cooper.

To learn about the different programs Milwaukee Recreation is offering, call 414-475-8180 or check out their website.

You don't need to have an MPS student to participate and the cost depends on how much care you need.

If you are concerned about cost, Cooper says to see if you qualify for the Wisconsin Shares Childcare Subsidy Program.

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