Businesses, school district workers offering child care and educational services amidst school closures

Local News

Many Central Valley school districts are closing schools until mid-April

FRESNO, California (KGPE) — With novel coronavirus concerns shutting down dozens of school districts, parents are now scrambling to find child care alternatives. Some businesses, as well as school staff now with extra free time, are saying their doors are open.

Aside from child care, many are also offering ways to keep kids learning during the closures.

For nearly a decade in her own home, LaNetta Whittle has been running her business — A Whittle Luv Early Education Center. It’s a Fresno County Early Stars provider, which makes Whittle qualified to assess children in a number of ways, including educational, social and emotional development.

When news started to break about the closures Friday afternoon, Whittle started to spread the word about her business. As of 6 p.m. Saturday, she already talked to five potential new clients to start care on Monday.

“I know that some of the parents still have to work, so, it’s important for me to make sure that I leave my facilities open,” Whittle said. “I take the precautions — making sure my home is clean, washing the children’s hands.”

InnovEd has offered Central Valley kids an interactive STEM experience for five years. It provides students from kindergarten to high school programs that address high-quality science and technology skill-building.

While the center has postponed after school and home school classes, it will soon provide camps similar to what they offer in the summer on a weekly basis, to give kids without classes another way to keep learning.

“We are limiting the camps to only 12 students, to make sure we can maintain social distancing. Students at the door will have their temperatures measured to make sure no one’s running a fever,” InnovEd founder, Dr. Ellie Honardoost, said.

Steven Haynes is one of several workers for area school districts to offer child care services on social media. Haynes is a substitute paraprofessional in Fresno Unified and a certified state tutor, so he feels his experience makes him more than qualified to not only watch children — but help them keep learning as well.

Below is how you can get in touch with everyone we talked to in this story:

  • A Whittle Luv Early Education
  • InnovEd
    • Call: 559-321-8434
    • Check out their website
  • Steven Haynes
    • Message him on Facebook
    • Email: hysteven630@gmail.com

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