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Kannapolis schools to offer before-school child care

KANNAPOLIS — Kannapolis City Schools will offer before-school child care for elementary students beginning in August.

The move is a result of a systemwide change to school start times, said Ellen Boyd, director of community relations.

When the 2017-18 school year opens, area elementary schools will begin at 8:45 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.

“We had to do that for a couple of different reasons,” Boyd said.

The school system is adding three magnet programs for the upcoming year, all at area elementary schools. The programs have open enrollment for any student, and transportation is provided. While it’s good news for families, it will put a strain on bus schedules.

Buses in the district are shared among elementary, middle and high schools each day and run one morning shift after another. Because of the anticipated delay for the magnet programs, Boyd said, the district want to be sure schools have plenty of time.

“We wanted to make those elementary schools the last stop of the day,” she said.

But many parents said the new time would conflict with their work schedules because the earliest elementary students could be dropped off would be 8:15 a.m.

“So we wanted to find some way that we could meet their needs,” Boyd said.

The solution was the before-school child care program. Care will be provided at each elementary school beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will cost $2.50 per day, or $50 per month per child. Money is paid directly to each school.

“So the money will stay at the schools,” Boyd said.

Instead of putting a strain on finances and hiring additional staff, the district is offering overtime to current staff members who are interested in coming in early and making a little extra money.

“It makes it very, very affordable for our families,” Boyd said.

Families interested in using the before-school care need to register before the start of school in August. Anyone who registers before Aug. 18 will not have to pay a registration fee. After that, the registration fee will be $10. Registration forms are being developed and will be available beginning in mid-July.

Families who need before-school care earlier than 7:30 a.m. would need to use other child care providers in the area.

Families enrolled in the before-school care program will not be charged for teacher workdays or holidays. On days when school is delayed because of bad weather, the before-school care also will be delayed.

Once registration forms are developed, they will be available online, at each elementary school and at the central office. Parents should complete the forms and return them to their child’s elementary school by email or postal mail or in person. Kannapolis City Schools and offices are open Monday through Thursday during the summer months.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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