Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has announced a program aimed at assisting families with child care needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
The RecZone program, operated by the county Department of Recreation and Parks and licensed through the Maryland State Department of Education’s Office of Child Care, will be open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade beginning Sept. 8 at public schools throughout the county.
According to the county, RecZone will assist students in virtual learning assignments and work sessions, as well as provide physical activities, games and crafts. Each location offering the program will have two 15-person groups, with each group limited to two staff members and 13 children.
“Safe, accessible child care is an urgent need as more residents return to work and as our schools remain virtual for the fall,” Ball said in a statement. “Our Department of Recreation and Parks’ partnership with the Howard County [Public] School System will provide safe programming to meet the needs of Howard County families.”
RecZone will be offered five days a week, excluding school holidays. Parents can choose between two schedules: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $325 per week or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $259 per week. Financial assistance will be available to those who qualify.
RecZone registration opened Friday for the month of September. Registration for October through January will open this Friday.
Program locations are still being determined, according to the county.
Health guidelines will be in place for those attending. Temperature checks and health screenings will be required daily for admission to the program, including children, volunteers and staff. Strict social distancing and sanitization measures also will be followed.
For more information or to register, go to howardcountymd.gov/rap.