With local schools slated to continue remote education for the upcoming school year, the San Ramon City Council is set to consider allocating funds for child care for essential city employees during a special meeting on Wednesday.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced schools to close for students for at-home learning instead. While city officials are hopeful that some form of in-person instruction will eventually return, plans are being laid to care for city employees' children so the city is not left short-staffed when the school year begins -- San Ramon Valley Unified School District Schools are scheduled to return Aug. 13.
"The primary benefit of an in-house childcare is that city staff would be able to come to work and be productive all the while knowing that their child is being cared for nearby," Parks and Community Services Department director Kathi Heimann wrote in a staff report to the council.
"City staff are not trained teachers or tutors, so this program is not intended to replace school, but to provide a location for the children of city workers to attend virtual school while being supervised so their parents are free to come to work," Heimann added.
According to a survey conducted by the city, so far 35 city staffers with a total of 50 school-age children and 10 preschool aged children have expressed interest in participating in a city run childcare program
Funding the program would cost the city $139 per child per week or $6,976 per week for 50 school-age children, according to Heimann.
"Depending on the length of time that schools are closed to in-person learning, the cost to operate the program ranges from $20,930 for three weeks to a potential $125,581 if the program were to run for 18 weeks through mid-December during regularly scheduled school days," she added.
If approved the program would be provided for school age children only and operate Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Utilizing the large rooms at the San Ramon Community Center, Alcosta Senior Center and the Amador Rancho Community Center to ensure social distancing.
The City Council's special meeting is set to be held at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Interested residents can view the meeting on the city's YouTube page or on its Zoom account using webinar ID 925 3824 6139.
Residents can submit public comments via email to [email protected] Comments must be sent prior to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and include “Public Comment 7/29/2020” in the subject line.