APS Strives to Connect Families with Child Care Resources, Support

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta Public Schools has had to lean on generous benefactors and partners in order to provide the highest quality education and support possible for our students and their families. We could not – and have not – addressed these challenges alone.

Obstacles remain, and I am proud that our district – through efforts coordinated through our Department of Partnerships and Development and others– has made numerous connections to create systems of support. This support ranges from Decatur Maker Space building desks for students to support at-home learning to GeorgiaCAN tracking learning pods at city recreation centers to TutorATL providing tutoring services.

All of these supports can be found at the Parent Resource section of our Return+Learn web site.

But I want to put a spotlight on two great services provided by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, essential for many of our families in Atlanta Public Schools, as part of an initiative called Bright from the Start.

Many of our families need high-quality child care during the period of virtual learning. The department’s Quality Rated tool helps families find child care in their area (or even along a commute route) that has been evaluated by credentialed early childhood experts and identified as “high-quality.” It also provides additional information about cost and services and even provides a toll-free referral hotline at 1-877-255-4254.

Quality Rated’s licensing and star rating systems allow families to easily identify child care and early education programs that are caring for and educating children based on what research has shown to work. Regardless of their star rating, all Quality Rated programs are meeting or exceeding a high set of standards.

You can access the tool at www.QualityRated.org. Limited scholarships are available for children ages 0-4 through Quality Care for Children and PAACT: the Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive. If you are interested, please contact partnerdev@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Many families of older children also need additional resources to pay for child care. Again, the Bright from the Start initiative has another resource: SOLVE scholarships.

These need-based scholarships provide financial assistance for families with students enrolled in a Georgia public school system primarily engaged in virtual learning which is APS right now. Scholarships support working families with children ages 5-12 (kindergarten through grade 6) by paying for care, supervision, and support during the school day while students are engaged in virtual learning.

SOLVE scholarships can be used at licensed child care learning centers, family child care learning homes, and providers with an approved day camp exemption. The scholarship is good for three months but may be extended if the school system continues to offer a primarily virtual learning model.

Learn more at www.decal.ga.gov/CAPS/Solve.aspx.

And as a district, we continue to find and connect resources for our students, parents, and staff. Please visit our Parent Resource section often as our team is putting up more and more programs and resources every week!

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