Henrico, Va. Aug. 21, 2020 — Three Henrico County Public Schools partners who have provided after-school care in HCPS facilities will offer limited in-school care programs this fall. The programs are designed to help essential workers and working families who need quality, affordable child care during HCPS’ predominantly virtual start to the 2020-21 school year.

The YMCA of Greater Richmond, the Henrico Education Foundation and Henrico Police Athletic League have reimagined their traditional after-school models as full-day programs to meet community needs posed by a virtual school day.

“While this is a new initiative, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, it is consistent with the efforts we make during ‘normal’ school years to connect families to quality, affordable after-school programming,” said Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent.

The small programs can prioritize safety in ways that are not possible at this time for a general school population. They will be limited in scale to conform to CDC guidelines, and will serve far fewer children. Students will be in the same small groups all day, in dedicated areas of the school, including a dedicated classroom or instructional space for each group. These areas will undergo frequent intensive cleaning. Transportation will be provided by families, avoiding the risks associated with transporting large groups of students together using HCPS’ bus fleet.

The partners will provide their own staffing models and determine the capacity for their programs, within the guidelines of the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Education, the CDC and HCPS. The typical ratio of students to adults in the child-care setting is 10-to-one.

While some HCPS teachers will be working in their classrooms, conducting virtual classes and offering limited in-person instruction for students, plans for in-school child-care programs will take this capacity into account and won’t detract from “regular” HCPS programming or safety. The in-school child-care programs also won’t interfere with any plans to incorporate more in-person student attendance, as conditions allow.

In-school child-care partner programs:

Henrico PAL: The program will operate Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Programming will consist of support for HCPS virtual learning, as well as Henrico PAL programs such as STEAM concepts, chess, dance, art and financial literacy. While the new program is operating, PAL’s regular after-school program will not be offered. The program is open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade, and the cost is $100 per week per child. Program sites are:

  • Laburnum Elementary School.
  • John Rolfe Middle School.
  • Dumbarton Elementary School.

For more information, go to Henrico PAL’s child care information page at https://www.henricopal.org/after-school-program.html.

Henrico Education Foundation: This program will operate from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students will participate in virtual learning activities during the school day, and after-school recreational activities each afternoon. Staff members will work closely with HCPS to support classroom teachers’ facilitation of virtual learning. Children will be provided with two snacks each day and lunch will be available for a fee. The Fair Oaks, Greenwood and Wilder sites will serve Henrico County children in kindergarten through fifth grade, while the Quioccasin site will serve children of HCPS employees who fall into the same age group. The cost of the program is $100 per week per child. Program sites are:

  • Fair Oaks Elementary School.
  • Greenwood Elementary School.
  • L. Douglas Wilder Middle School.
  • Quioccasin Middle School (For children of HCPS staff members. Employees received a separate email about how to register.)

For more information and to register, go to https://henricogives.org/after-school-enrichment-program/ or contact HEF’s Scott Williams at scott@henricogives.org.

YMCA of Greater Richmond: The YMCA is planning programming options across the Richmond area to accommodate school systems using a predominantly virtual format. The program will operate Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., and will be adaptable to meet students’ virtual classroom schedules. The later portion of the day will include enrichment opportunities such as STEAM concepts, drumming, dance, computer coding, cooking, poetry and a variety of other activities. The program is for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The cost of the program is $100 per week per child. Program sites are:

  • Deep Run High School.
  • Glen Allen High School.
  • Mills Godwin High School.
  • Henrico High School.
  • Hermitage High School.
  •  Varina High School. 

For more information, go to https://www.ymcarichmond.org/child-care-camps/supporting-virtual-learning/henrico-county-schools/.

Interested families should contact the providers directly. Schools are unable to register students for these programs.