Online learning available at daycares so parents can return to work in fall

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Daycare services are adding learning centers to the list of programs it's offering to parents for back-to-school services.

Curtis Lemieux, executive director of youth development for the YMCA Greater Houston, said when schools closed back in March and turned to virtual learning, the YMCA setup programs, giving students a safe space for online learning.

"We needed to see if we could find a way to support some of that at-home learning outside of the house," Lemieux said.

Now, the YMCA of Greater Houston is opening 11 learning centers in the area, which will allow students to attend virtual class, have peer interaction, and participate in activities, while their parents return to work.

There are four different programs for parents to choose from, including an all-day program.

Paula Morgan, franchise owner of Primrose School of Eagle Springs, said Primrose Schools is doing something similar.

Each location will work with school districts in its area to make sure students are completing their online curriculum.

Morgan said at her location in Humble, the full-day explorer program is about $220 per week and it includes break times, meals and sibling discounts.

"We want to make sure that during this time we're living in right now, is not a traumatic time for them," Morgan said. "We want them to feel as if they are home, like many of them do."

Reche Jones, owner of Jones Prep & Services, said she had to shut down her tutoring business due to COVID-19.

When she reopened, parents were calling to see if the tutoring services could be done at the students' home.

Now, with a group of TEA certified teachers, they are offering tutoring at the center and at-home services.

"We have a lot of clients that are struggling with reading comprehension because a lot of the time students don't want to read. So, I teach strategies to where they can enjoy the reading and answer the questions correctly," Jones said.

Depending on the students' needs, the cost ranges from $10 to $50 per hour.

Fort Bend ISD is also introducing learning centers and daycare options for students and staff.

At a number of sites in the district, there will be learning centers open to students to complete their online learning with working stations that are socially distanced.

Parents have also considered an option called, learning pods. ABC13 investigated this growing trend last week, and the idea is to have a teacher, tutor or parent monitor a small group of students while they do their school work and interact with others.

Lemieux said there are a lot of options out there for parents, but every family has their specific and unique needs.

You can also contact your school district to ask what daycare or learning center options it may have.

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