If it’s too risky for California’s schoolchildren to attend classes on campus, it’s too risky for them to go to daycare on campus, right?

Wrong.

Across the state, classrooms will be used this fall for “Play and Learn” programs, which are essentially daycare programs where staff will assist the children with their distance learning assignments and give them the opportunity to play with their friends.

California Districts Offering On-Campus "Day Care" and Help With Distance Learning - For a Fee

Source: Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District Facebook page

Rancho Simi Recreation & Parks District, located in Simi Valley, offers such a program. Their flyer describes the Play and Learn program as:

“Expansion of our Before and After School Club (ASC), converted to Fall 2020 Distant Learning Model. A fun, safe environment to learn virtually, interact with friends, enrichment opportunities, & PLAY!”

And it’s only $625 a month per child – a bargain compared to neighboring Conejo Valley Unified, which charges $850 a month per child. According to an email sent to parents of children who were enrolled in after school programs last year, children are expected to arrive with a “fully charged device and headphones” because they don’t have enough power outlets for everyone.

Conejo Valley distance learning

Email sent to parents in Conejo Valley Unified School District

Conejo does a bit of expectation-setting in their email, saying:

Please ensure that your student knows how to turn on the device and login if there is a password.

Keep in mind, our staff are not instructors. They will be able to keep kids on task and support their learning time.

So if your child is in kindergarten, they’re expected to be able to turn on the device and login all by themselves and essentially be their own tech support, and please don’t expect staff to help your child – but still, pay $850 a month.

This is insane. Families can’t send their kids back to the classroom for actual instruction from a teacher, but they can pay a massive amount of money to send their kids to the classroom for daycare staff to “supervise” their distance learning? Are daycare staff somehow immune to catching the Wuhan flu? According to Citizens Journal, a Conejo Valley parent asked the Ventura County Health Officer this question in an email, and he replied:

“I’m sorry but this was a decision made at the State level and I don’t know their reasoning.”

To be clear, the local districts aren’t to be blamed for this insanity. Daycares are allowed to open under Gov. Newsom’s dictates, but schools aren’t. Parents are clamoring for some way to take care of their kids while they go to work, but this price point is going to be out of range for the parents who need it the most.

Jennifer Van Laar
Jennifer Van Laar is Deputy Managing Editor at RedState and founded Save California PAC. Follow her work on Facebook and Twitter. Story tips: [email protected]

 
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