Child care alternatives for parents
Should public school teachers strike tomorrow, the Department of Education has indicated that school and A-Plus facilities would be open only on a site-by-site basis beginning Monday. Parents, however, have been advised to start making child care arrangements.
Kama'aina Kids is offering "strike care" for up to 2,000 children kindergarten through the sixth grade beginning tomorrow. Child care would be from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (no meals provided) and would cost $20 per day. "Strike care" will be offered at more than a dozen locations across O'ahu and at the Hawaii Naniloa resort on the Big Island. For more information, call the Kama'aina Kids main office at 262-4538.
Ask Aloha United Way, formerly Ask 2000, is offering referral services to assist parents in finding child care in case of a strike. Ask Aloha United Way will also help striking teachers with referrals to rent, financial assistance and other services. O'ahu residents may call Ask Aloha United Way at 275-2000. Neighbor Island residents may call toll-free 1-877-275-6569.
Tips for parents
The Hawaii State Parent, Teacher, Student Association has produced a brochure providing tips to parents about how to prepare for a possible strike.
Ask your child's teachers what your child is currently studying or reviewing in class; whether there is work your child can do at home so lessons won't be forgotten; and how you can best help your child maintain necessary skills.
Communicate with your child. Tell your children that the strike is not their fault. Adults sometimes disagree and they can feel strongly about certain issues, but no child caused the strike.
If you have young children, look for state licensed, age-appropriate day care or make arrangements with friends or relatives. You can miss fewer work days if you watch a friend's children one day and they watch yours the next. Churches and community groups may be able to provide childcare.
No matter how old your children are, encourage them to read. Whether you read to them, ask them to read to you, or ask that they read to themselves, reading is one of their most important life skills.
Encourage your children to be physically active instead of watching TV or playing video games. Make sure that they have healthy food to eat.
For more information, or for a brochure, call the Hawaii State PTSA at 834-7872 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of resources and possible places to turn. It includes only some of the options that may be available. Most offer care all day (often beginning at 7 a.m.). Typical cost is about $20 per day. YMCAs and Boys and Girls clubs may require a fee for annual membership (about $10). Boys and Girls clubs are on school campuses; schedules are subject to change, depending on picketing. Check for availability with the facility you desire.
PATCH (People Attentive to Children) Statewide childcare resource and referral agency. Provides phone numbers of area childcare providers; parents must call to determine where space is available: 839-1789
Care for kindergarten through 6th grade:
Windward YMCA: 261-0808
Mililani YMCA: 625-1040
Wahiawa YMCA: contact Kilani at 621-6100
Leeward YMCA: 671-6495
Wesley United Methodist Church Child Care Center, contact Billy Henson: 732-3273
Moili'ili Community Center: 955-1555
Care for kindergarten through 5th grade:
Mililani Hongwangi: 625-0925
Care for kindergarten through 3rd grade:
Playmate Kindergarten Day Care Care Center and Grade School, contact Mrs. Ko: 536-6442
Care for children ages 2-7:
Salvation Army, contact Nishat Kaze: 521-6551
Care for Children and teens ages 7-17:
Boys and Girls Club of Honolulu, contact John Fujioka: 949-4203 (locations: Washington Middle School, 'Ewa Beach at Ilima Middle School, Wai'anae Clubhouse at Wai'anae Elementary School, Nanakuli Clubhouse at Nanakuli Intermediate)
Care for Children with Special Needs
Easter Seals of Hawai'i, contact Joruel Seatriz: 536-1015
Kona YMCA: 329-9622
Waimea YMCA: 885-7420
Solid Rock Ministries: 327-6543
Waiakea Settlement YMCA: 935-3721
Boys and Girls Club of Hawai'i, Hilo Clubhouse: 961-5536
Hale Aloha: 959-4949
Boys and Girls Club of Hawai'i, Kapa'a: 821-4406
Boys and Girls Club of Hawai'i, Waimea: 338-1418
Kaua'i Children's Discovery Museum, Kapa'a: 823-8222