DURHAM N.C. (WNCN) – From better pay to independent childcare, parents are sounding off on how they feel the Durham School District can cut down on a growing waitlist for after-school programs.
The district currently has a growing waitlist of more than 700 students looking for before or after-school care.
Monday, district leaders met with parents and community members about ways they can bring in more staff before the traditional school year starts.
Brian Schneiderman said his children didn’t get accepted into after-school care last year and are on the waitlist this year.
“It’s frustrating,” Schneiderman said. “Even though we applied for aftercare the day of, actually the morning of, we still weren’t (accepted) so I totally feel and hear the pain of recruiting.”
The district said it needs to hire more than 60 people for the before and after school programs with starting pay at $16 an hour part-time.
Parents in Monday’s meeting recommended finding funding resources to up part-time pay, having parents volunteer, as well as working with other local employers or colleges to make flexible workweeks for those on a part-time basis.
“I feel like we were able to get some great ideas out there, but now I want to see the action,” parent Lorie Flocks said. “I want to see what’s going to change, what’s going to happen, how quickly it’s going to take to get there.”
Even still, for those who still might not make it into aftercare, the district plans to provide parents a list of local city or independent programs that students could be bussed to.
“I think it’s about figuring out how to implement those but then also having clear, and proactive communication to families about if you don’t get into aftercare, here are other options,” Schneiderman said.
Danielle Hayes works with the city of Durham’s recreation department and said they are working with the school district to find alternative childcare programs for those on the waitlist.
“If for some reason they’re not able to go to school program then we are there to be able to help with that,” Hayes said.
The district also currently offers up to $2,000 in retention bonuses.