Back-to-school is here but it's looking completely different in this COVID-19 school year. The lack of in-person school is leaving parents scrambling for care or supervision as their school-age children attend school virtually. We've compiled a list of centers, day cares and cities offering care for school-aged kids to help ease the burden on families.
Stroum Jewish Community Center (Mercer Island)
SJCC offers a broad array of child care services from virtual set-ups to in-person day care and camp offerings by age. The J-Cation weekday program is for grades K–8 and is designed to support families during pandemic school closures. The program offers a safe space for students to complete their virtual learning through their school while also offering social interaction with kids of the same age. J-Cation is offered in both full-day and partial-day options. SJCC also offers a kindergarten program with two experienced teachers and their own curriculum.
We Rock the Spectrum (Bellevue)
Families looking for specialized care can find Respite and Break Time Care along with One-to-One Attendant Care at We Rock the Spectrum on the Eastside. We Rock Care services are offered at $12 an hour and can be booked in advance through the website. We Rock the Spectrum’s respite and break time is designed for families with children with special needs. Children without a special needs diagnosis are also welcome to use the service which is provided to balance the needs of families, siblings and parents.
Timberlake Church Distance Learning (Redmond)
Timberlake Church Distance Learning Camp in Redmond is offering a 13-week camp to help families balance their work schedules while also providing students in grades 2–5 a safe place to focus on their remote learning. The camp offers social-emotional connections for kids along with special activities such as art, STEM and other physical activities in addition to assistance with online schooling, online class calls and school assignments. The camp’s 6 to 1 student to teacher ratio is designed to keep exposure low. Timberlake offers both a 5-day-a-week schedule and a 3-day-a-week schedule.
Ballard Church and All-Star Kids Company (Seattle)
Ballard Church and All-Star Kids Company started the Ballard Remote Learning program this fall to help Seattle Public Schools parents with child care and homeschooling responsibilities. Their program offers in-person care at Ballard Church with adult tutors to help oversee each child’s remote learning program through their individual schools. The Ballard Remote Learning program provides a daily supervised routine of online learning, physical activity and social-emotional care with careful attention to COVID-19 requirements.
Boys and Girls Clubs of King County (Greater Seattle area)
The Boys and Girls Clubs of King County have always offered great services for families and kids throughout King County. This year, they will offer full-day programs in addition to their afternoon and early morning programs. The full-day programming will support remote learning as provided by schools along with video conference family orientations. The programs are being offered at the following schools/facilities: Bagley Elementary, Ballard, Bainbridge Island, Cascade View Elementary, Federal Way, Kirkland, Lawton Elementary, Lowell Elementary, Mark Twain, Mercer Island, Northgate Elementary, North Beach Elementary, North Seattle, Redmond, Renton/Skyway, Rotary, Sacajawea, Salmon Bay, Sammamish, Sandpoint, Smilow Rainier Vista, Southwest, View Ridge and Wallingford
Outer Space Seattle (West Seattle)
West Seattle’s popular child care facility is offering teacher-led learning pods, Monday through Friday, for kids in elementary school. Two experienced instructors lead each pod through remote learning and assisting with reading, math and science. There will be two daily sessions offered, 5 days a week, with a limit of 16 kids at the facility at a time.
Early Masters (Seattle)
Early Masters Art School is offering 8-week learning pod classes for up to 8 students focusing on Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pop Art, Claude Monet, African American artists and more. Each class is 2 hours in length and can be scheduled around Seattle Public School online class schedules. Participants will learn everything from art history to how to develop painting styles focused on famous artists. Early Masters balances each workshop with theoretical exploration and hands-on practice.
YMCA of Greater Seattle (Seattle)
The YMCA of Greater Seattle has developed the Y LEAP Academy, a full-day program that works in conjunction with individual school districts to provide support for distance learning along with school-day care, enrichment activities and social-emotional learning. The program provides recess opportunities along with small circle groups and student support for remote learning models. Kids also have the opportunity to participate in the YMCA’s SCALED Learning™ Curriculum which is an enrichment program designed to encourage kids to step outside their comfort zone and attempt new activities. The YMCA also provides lots of time for unstructured play before and after the school day.
City of Seattle Parks and Recreation (Seattle)
The City of Seattle is offering in-person learning support for elementary-aged students through Seattle Parks and Recreation. The full-day care will support students’ virtual learning in conjunction with Seattle Public Schools starting on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 8 a.m., at child care locations throughout the city. Scholarships are available for those who qualify with up to 90 percent of the monthly rate potentially covered for qualifying families. Seattle Parks and Recreation is also providing seven Teen Resource Hubs at Southwest Teen Life Center, Miller Community Center, Garfield Teen Life Center, Meadowbrook Teen Life Center, Magnuson Community Center, Bitterlake Community Center and South Lake High School, supporting to up to 200 students daily. Lunch is provided and participants do need to register for the free program.
Islandwood on Bainbridge (Bainbridge Island)
Looking for an afternoon activity to keep your kids entertained once remote learning is finished? Islandwood is offering its new in-person, outdoor program for students in grades 4–6. Afternoon Ecologists aligns with Washington’s science curriculum and offers a half-day, week-long program. Led by the University of Washington Master of Education students, the program will deepen students' understanding of the impact science, engineering and technology can have on their communities and the planet. This half-day, one-week program runs throughout the fall from Monday through Friday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
South Sound YMCA (South Sound)
The South Sound YMCA’s program offers support for students doing distance learning. Parents will just need to provide children with a laptop and the staff at the South Sound YMCA will make sure they are logged in and ready to learn. They will also assist with school work and other needs as assigned. Additionally, students will get social interaction with peers and other enrichment activities. The program is offered either as a full 5 day a week program, a Monday/Wednesday/Friday program, or a Tuesday/Thursday program.
City of Auburn Parks and Recreation (Auburn)
The Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Department’s Between the Bell program provides school-day care for kids in kindergarten through grade 5, attending the Auburn School District. Student’s remote learning will be facilitated through the Auburn Community Center with additional enrichment activities, socialization and movement. Students and staff will follow the Auburn School District learning model. Children will need to bring their own laptop or tablet with them to accommodate online learning. Staff will assist students with functional matters such as setting up their equipment, logging on to their learning platform, emailing their teacher with questions, etc. Between the Bell is offered daily from noon to 6 p.m.
YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties (Pierce/Kitsap)
The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties is offering school-aged support for students doing distance learning. Parents will just need to provide children with laptops and the staff will ensure they are logged in and ready to learn. They will also assist with school work and other needs as assigned. Additionally, students will get social interaction with peers and other enrichment activities. The programs are being offered in conjunction with the following school districts at specific schools: Bremerton School District, Clover Park School District, Central Kitsap School District, Franklin Pierce School District, Peninsula School District, Tacoma School District and South Kitsap School District.
YMCA of Snohomish County (North Sound)
The YMCA of Snohomish County Virtual Learning centers offer school-aged support for students in remote learning situations. The Y Virtual Learning Centers are full-day care options designed to help students while engaging in remote learning. Students also gain social enrichment and physical activity. The centers cater to students in both elementary and middle school with various locations throughout the North Sound.
Arena Sports (Redmond, Mill Creek, Issaquah, SODO and Magnuson)
Arena Sports is offering a Distance Learning Camp at all of its five locations located throughout Puget Sound. The camp will serve students in grades 1 through 8, with the primary focus being on learning and school homework. Kids will also have opportunities to participate in field time, arts and crafts, board games and more. Group sizes are kept small to stay within safe COVID-19 protocols.
PRO Club (Bellevue, Redmond, Seattle)
PRO Club’s remote learning program for students in kindergarten all the way up to grade 8. It is available at all three of its locations —Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle. Discovery Bay at PRO Club is an in-person program supporting each student’s online learning needs. Each classroom features small learning groups and one teacher to assist with remote learning assignments. Students will also receive academic enrichment through PRO Club’s STEAM program, physical activity with indoor/outdoor sports and social interaction.
Looking for drop-in child care solutions for younger kids?