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Richmond School Board Green Lights Child Care Agreements

school officials
School board member Dawn Page (left) and Superintendent Jason Kamras (right) during a 2019 meeting. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Richmond Public Schools is moving forward with its emergency child care sites, after Superintendent Jason Kamras got the go-ahead from school board members Monday night.

RPS and the school board will enter into individual contract agreements with each child care provider. School board members expressed satisfaction with the terms outlined in a draft agreement, presented by Kamras.

“I thought it was very detailed. It addressed a lot of the concerns, questions that we had. So again, we cannot delay this because our families are depending on us,” said School Board member Dawn Page.

The school board had originally requested a memorandum of understanding agreement with the city, but the city's attorney advised against it, citing concerns that such an agreement would hold the city liable for child care services. 

Mayor Levar Stoney initially proposed use of RPS facilities for emergency childcare, offering $3 million of federal coronavirus-relief funding. He put pressure on RPS last week to have the sites available by the end of the month, after his administration rejected the district’s request for an MOU.

The city has called on RPS to have the sites available by the end of the month. 

So far, the Richmond YMCA, the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority and the Peter Paul Development Center have agreed to provide child care. The district aims to provide the services for 500 students at five Richmond school buildings.