VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — School days are about routine, but starting Monday comes disruption to that routine for many Virginia Beach parents.
“The problem has continued to get worse with staffing, pulling staff here and there just to make the numbers work," Julie Badley said, public relations manager for the city's Department of Parks and Recreation.
Monday, the department and city begin a consolidated version of its after-school child care program for elementary-age students.
The city previously announced it would have to cut 14 child-care programs due to short staffing issues. In addition to that announcement, the city announced it would relocate several other after-school programs as well, lowering the number from 19 down to 10.
Braley said this change will impact roughly 180 clients.
“I know I'm hearing from a lot of parents that had to consolidate with the program, they’re just happy to have a program for their kids to go to," Braley said.
Operationally, Braley said not much will change from the day-to-day operations. Students in their after-school programs that are being consolidated will board buses through the VBCPS' transportation system, and be picked up by their parents all the same, just at a different physical location.
When asked for a timeline of when this dilemma will see a resolution, Braley said there is no timetable and will operate this way as long as a staffing shortage exists.
“Typically we run on 165 part-time staff, now we’re at 115," Braley said.
“I wish I could give parents a timeline ‘If we could get through the next 60 days we’ll be back to normal.’ But we’ve learned we can’t put a timeline on anything.”
Canceled programs will take effect on Jan. 3, 2022.
Relocated after-school programs:
- Cooke (moving to Birdneck Elementary)
- College Park (moving to Woodstock Elementary)
- Green Run (moving to Holland Elementary)
- Luxford (moving to Bettie F. Williams)
- Lynnhaven (moving to Kings Grant Elementary)
- Newtown (moving to Diamond Springs)
- Ods (moving to Pembroke Elementary)
- Parkway (moving to Rosemont Elementary)
- Shelton Park (moving to Hermitage Elementary)
- Windsor Oaks (moving to Windsor Woods Elementary)