Iredell-Statesville Schools Extends Outreach to Community for School Age Childcare Options

   

Iredell County, NC – In an effort to provide parents and guardians of school-age children with care options, Iredell-Statesville Schools in partnership with the United Way of Iredell County and Connect Iredell is today extending a plea to community organizations and volunteers who can provide a safe space for children to go during what would have been their normal school day.

With back to school upon us and ISS reopening under Governor Roy Cooper’s option B plan, Iredell-Statesville Schools understands that there is a real need for supplemental school-aged childcare options.  While ISS is working to extend on site district options, there is still a need to support students during virtual learning days so that parents/guardians can work.

The director of GEAR UP and Community Support at Iredell-Statesville Schools, Dr. Stacy Williams, feels that this project is a necessary one and was very much needed. “We realize that our parents need to work. Ideally, we would love for all our students to be in one of our buildings every day in the fall but that is not our reality. We have made it our mission to alleviate as many stressors for our parents as we can, including childcare options.”, Williams shared.

The goal for these sites is to provide a safe space for children to go during what would have been their normal school day. Sites should have volunteers that will help children with their schoolwork to the best of their abilities, as they will not all be licensed educators. It is our hope that these sites function as similarly to an educational establishment as possible.  Time is limited, resources are limited, and solutions are limited. If you can volunteer your time, or if you are an organization that can volunteer space, please fill out the necessary forms to help the youth of our community make this school year as normal as possible.

“These sites are not all licensed by the state nor are they all affiliated with Iredell-Statesville Schools. We are requesting that all sites follow the same health protocols that are required in each of our school buildings to include wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, we request that each employee/volunteer undergo background checks.”, Williams provided.

United Way’s Brett Eckerman explained, “For a lot of families missing even one paycheck can create an economic crisis. Many will have to ask themselves: Do I stay home and care for my child?  Do I go to work? We knew early on that it was essential for us to assist with this project in any way that we can. At United Way, it is our charge to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every family in our community.” If you need additional assistance outside of childcare during these times, please contact NC 2-1-1, a free 24/7 call center for health and human services by visiting nc211.org or dialing the three digit line at 2-1-1.

With the realities of COVID-19, our community is being forced to rethink and rework the way we live, the way we conduct business, the way we socialize, and the way we educate our children. “These times are certainly unprecedented, especially in a modern society that runs on complex systems with many moving parts.” added Cindy Sutton, publisher of Connect Iredell, a new online community resource. “Solutions are limited, resources are limited, and time is limited. Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community to provide support for one another in as many ways as we each can.  We are honored to be afforded the opportunity to quickly partner with Stacy and Brett to provide this portal/directory.”

Organizations that can provide a safe and supervised solution are asked to complete the 2020-2021 Directory Listing Agreement found at https://www.iredellnc.com/pages/childcarelistingagreement for consideration.

Vetted options committing to perform background checks and follow Healthcare Guidelines outlined will be added to the School Age Childcare Program Directory. as a resource for their community.

 

Author: Margaret Beveridge