Child care facilities could fill needs for parents amid virtual classes

With an increasing number of D.C.-area school systems starting the year virtually, early learning schools and child care facilities could step up and fill a big need for parents.

Places that normally offer daylong care for younger kids, and before- and after-school care for older kids, could become the places where those older kids sit through their virtual school day.

“We will be housing a lot of those children and providing what we’re calling virtual learning assistance,” said Dr. Kristi Smith, director of education and training for Children’s Lighthouse, an early learning schools franchise system. “We will facilitate their learning; we won’t substitute for their schoolteachers.”

Children’s Lighthouse is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and has more than 50 locations nationally, though none are in the D.C. area. Still, Smith called virtual learning assistance “a huge trend for our industry. We’re seeing it with most early learning franchise systems and most child care corporations.”

Smith added this solution won’t work in every situation, “because licensed child care … there’s quite a cost to it.”


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