Parents ask why public schools are closed for class but open to private child care providers

Maddie Hanna:

Some area students are going back to school buildings this fall — not for class, but for child care.

In a number of school districts, child care providers are operating out of district buildings, offering full-day programs for a limited number of children. School leaders say they provide an option for parents who may be working or not able to care for children while they log on to virtual school at home.

But some families are questioning the logic of opening schools for child care that families must pay for, in buildings officials have opted not to reopen for instruction.

“It’s absurd,” said Daniel Finnegan, a father of a third and first grader in the Springfield Township School District in Montgomery County, where a provider renting space from the district is offering full-day child care. “They’re taking in private money to administer much worse education to 10% of the school district,” while telling “the other 90%, ‘It’s going to be tough.’ ”