HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —
The decision by Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County schools to make the first 9 weeks of school “virtual learning only” has changed a lot. Especially for parents, who might now have to look into child care options.
Not every parent is able to stay home and work from the kitchen table. And now, kids have to stay home and learn virtually in Madison County to start the year. That leaves a huge need for child care. One daycare in Madison is making some big changes to meet the need coming in August.
We met with Amanda Chambers, Director of KidTowne Childcare Center in Madison. She tells us, “Here at the '72 center', we are actually adding another building to our current center… We’ll actually be able to grow and hold as many school-age children as we need."
The daycare will be expanding to the building next door, and connecting the two, to have a full facility for their “school-age” program. The program will be in place during the school year.
The group they'll be serving is at a crucial academic age. Chambers tells us the program will cater to “ 5-12 year olds who are enrolled in a public or a private virtual learning program.”
They ask that parents, who drop their children off, equip them with a device to do online work. We’re told staff will be right there to help. Chambers tells our reporter, “Not only are we going to have teachers inside the classroom to help with tutoring ans supervision, but we’re also going to have certified teachers on staff so that we can get that schoolwork done for those children.”
Amanda Chambers says KidTowne saw a surge in business last spring, when schools had to close because of the pandemic. She adds, “We saw several of our parents just needed a place to go. Because several of our parents were still working. We had a lot of essential workers who needed a place for their children to go.”
Chambers says their “school age” program aims to be open all year, so parents can rely on it as school situations may change. Telling our reporter, “We hope that even if the school systems go back after the first nine weeks, that our parents say ‘hey, our kids are doing great with you guys, and we want them to stay’.”
The expansion should be complete within the next few weeks.