Willamalane Seeks Community Input for Childcare Needs this Fall
 
As childcare needs shift through Fall 2020, Willamalane is seeking community input to best shape childcare programs that will work for local families in need. To best assess the current needs of families in Springfield and surrounding communities, Willamalane is distributing a survey to better understand the need in our community. Results will help shape programs, locations, times, group size, and registration methods. Community members can share thoughts and fill out the survey here.
 
“We want to ensure that our childcare programs continue to meet the needs of our community, especially as those needs may rapidly shift this season,” said Caitlin Esping, Willamalane Youth Programs Supervisor.
 
While Willamalane is seeking input about childcare programs, the district has already expanded care options to fulfill a greater community need. “As our partners at Springfield Public Schools have had to adjust their schedule and move to online only, we’ve gotten creative with our spaces to increase our capacity while still adhering to all state safety regulations,” Esping continued.
 
The district’s main school-age program is Springfield Squirrels, a full-time care program which will support school age students starting the year with distance learning. Springfield Squirrels will best support online learners enrolled in SPS Online, however the program also supports out-of-district students. Care runs from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. This program runs from Sept. 21 through Dec. 18. Patrons can learn more and register for this program at willamalane.org/schoolagecare. Patrons can also sign up for preschool care at  willamalane.org/preschool.
 
Safety remains the district’s primary concern as programs are developed, from summer camps earlier this year to school age care this fall. The district is committed to providing the safest possible care for children, families, and staff. While Willamalane cannot completely remove the risk of exposure to illness in group settings, the district is taking the steps for its childcare programs including:
  • Extensive measures around physical distancing and sanitation, all within the state health guidelines and recommendations.
  • Face covering requirements for all staff and students while inside or outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible.
  • Comprehensive sanitation process and illness monitoring protocols.
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