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    Response to SEA Regarding Child Care
    Posted on 04/02/2020
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    Response to Seattle Education Association Regarding Child Care

    Governor Inslee directed school districts to help provide child care for health workers and first responders who are on the frontlines of our community’s COVID-19 response. We answered this call, while also focusing on our mission to ensure our students have access to food and continuous learning during this time.

    Last week we learned that the City of Seattle made it a requirement that in order to keep our PreK City levy funding, the district must provide child care using SPS educational staff. SPS currently employs 80 people with this funding. As a result, we asked members of our Seattle Education Association to sign up to support this effort. We understand that educators and child care workers are two separate professions, and that the required skillsets are different. That has been our stance since the beginning and in response to the Governor’s directive.

    While we had been working in partnership with the Seattle Education Association about the details of how to step into this space, we learned early this morning that SEA members have serious concerns about providing this care. We understand the multiple complexities inherent in all of these decisions, and will continue to work with the City and other Community Based Organizations to find ways to best ensure our health care providers, First Responders and other essential workers have access to child care.

    We will no longer be asking our SPS educators to sign up to provide child care. We will ask our educators to focus on providing our students with continuous learning in creative ways.

    At this time, we are calling upon our local leaders to come together and find solutions. We are urging city leaders to continue funding community-based organizations to provide needed child care, while the school district will continue to provide facilities, meals, and the necessary cleaning aligned with Public Health guidelines.