The learning hubs will provide a place where school-aged children can receive childcare and also complete schoolwork.By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While getting the kids back to school is normally a relief in a lot of households, this year it’s mostly anxiety.

The pressure to handle kids doing school at home online, and helping them keep up with their work is intimidating to many — especially if it is impeding the parents from returning to work.

The CARES Act foresaw the issues and allocated money to help.

Wendy Smith is the director of Allegheny County’s Early Learning Resource.

She says Pennsylvania had to change the law so childcare facilities can take school age children during the school day. “And that is where now child care programs are available to provide that care while the children are in school.”

Smith says, “In addition to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, we have relationships with traditional out of school time programs like summer camps and child care after school and we’re working with them to be able to be open and provide child care during the school hours. We’re calling them community learning hubs, which are being created right now so families have somewhere to take the children.”

If a parent takes advantage of the child care facilities that now can take their school age child, the facility must pay for it.

The community learning hubs are being funded by money from the CARES Act.

The hubs will take kids up to 12 years old.

The county is currently taking applications from locations wanting to host a hub.

KDKA’S John Shumway reports: 

 

Smith says they are hearing a lot of anxiety from parents about the task of monitoring and helping with the classwork. “That’s why we’re working to create these online learning hubs.”

The locations being considered range from museums, to YMCA’s, to Boys and Girls clubs. “They would be able to link into through the internet, they would be able to be in for their classes and do their work and have an adult there to be a support, not as a teacher, but as a support to make sure they can learn.”

There is no way to know how many students the hubs will be able to handle but the county hopes to have the locations identified by sometime late next week.

Smith says, “I should point out there’s another website out there for parents to find each other and work out different types of arrangements.”  In essence parents ‘parentpool’ their kids for the day and alternate between homes.”

“It is another option that families can find ways to get the care they need and the support as well as the virtual tutoring and support and if you are home with your child and need additional sort of help because the new math is not the way we were taught it there are actual virtual tutoring programs as well that families can tie into. So do not panic help is on the way.”

Again, the hubs are funded through the CARES Act and will not costs the parents anything.  Private day care is fully on the parents tab.

More information can be found at the following websites: