Mayor: Parents from every corner of this city, 75 percent said we want schools open and we want our kids to go to school in September. We've talked about how we'll do it, for now, with a blended learning approach, with a typical child goes two or three days a week to school in the classroom. But so many parents have also said that they can't make it work if they don't get more childcare. We thought maybe we could do 50,000 childcare seats, and then we realized, with a blended format, that actually turns into a hundred thousand families that can be served. We're going to use every conceivable space, community centers, libraries, cultural organizations, whatever we can find in communities. We're going to have one approach for early childhood, another approach for K-to-eight. And the goal will be to start by serving 100,000 kids and giving those parents that balance in their life, that relief, that support, but then we aim to go farther. We've got a little under two months until school begins. We've got a lot to do and nothing like this has ever been attempted on this timeframe, but we're going to find a way to do this and hopefully much more.
Here to talk about it is the woman who has led the charge in so many ways. She used to be a Deputy Commissioner at the Administration for Children's Services, so it's something she knows well. I want to thank her for her extraordinary work and invite to speak our budget director, Melanie Hartzog.
Director, Office of Management and Budget, Melanie Hartzog: Our plan is designed to provide full supervised coverage on a child's remote days. Programs will follow the Department of Health and Mental Health's guidance, which is based on New York State requirements of 15 children per room. We want to ensure that both staff and children participating are safe and therefore we will provide funding within the programming for PPE. We are framing these remote days, as the Mayor mentioned, as learning labs, partnering with libraries and cultural institutions to provide care and programming. And it will include activities like arts, recreation, tutoring, local field trips, where possible, and, of course, social and emotional supports. And finally, we're going with capacity increasing on a rolling basis.
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