The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will spend the next two days addressing the county's recently formed K-6 Distance Learning Child Care program.
The program was launched last week by the county in response to the school system’s decision to operate with 100 percent distance-learning to start the school year amid the COVID-19 crisis.
On Tuesday morning, county officials announced the board will discuss the childcare program at two upcoming public meetings -- Tuesday’s finance committee meeting at 6 p.m. and Wednesday’s special meeting at 5 p.m.
The county’s program was developed to support working parents who have an unexpected need for child care this fall due to the Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS) decision to begin the 2020-2021 school year with all distance learning, according to county officials.
On Sept. 1, the board approved a program that would serve approximately 1,000 to 1,200 children at up to 22 sites throughout the county that include elementary schools, community and recreation centers, libraries and leased buildings.
The county’s plan was based on surveys of parents in the community who expressed a significant need for the service, according to county staff.
The board is expected to hear reports this week after enrollment was lower than projected on the first day.
Supervisors also plan to discuss the scope of the child care program, including the number of sites required to operate the initiative and how much it will cost.
County staff said the government will use space in schools and leased buildings to accommodate the first 600 participants enrolled. As enrollment increases, the county plans to stand up the child care program in designated community and recreations centers and lastly—if demand exists—by utilizing the Ashburn and Rust libraries.
The decision to use two libraries drew criticism in recent weeks, and the library board chairman stepped down from the board last week.
Registration for the K-6 Distance Learning Child Care Program continues on a rolling basis. Parents who are interested in the service may find program details and a link to the online registration at loudoun.gov/DLchildcare.
The child care program is funded by federal dollars provided to the county through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and by fees paid by participants.
All meetings will be held in the board room of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, SE, in Leesburg.
Capacity in the meeting room is currently limited due to physical distancing requirements for COVID-19 prevention; however, members of the public are encouraged to view the meetings on TV or online. The meetings will be televised on Comcast Government Channel 23, Open Band Channel 40 and Verizon FiOS Channel 40 and livestreamed at loudoun.gov/meetings.