BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday that gives working parents more child care options for children engaged in remote learning when school resumes this fall.
The order allows the Department of Early Education and Care to authorize currently licensed after-school and out-of-school programs to operate during the school day. Current law prohibits such programs for school-aged children from offering care during regular school hours.
It will allow YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, family child care homes, and other facilities to care for school-age children who are learning remotely.
The state will also exempt informal remote learning parent cooperative arrangements organized by families, if the groups are supervised by unpaid parents.
The programs will be subject to background record checks, health and safety standards, facilities checks, and child to staff ratios.
“We all want our children to get back into school as soon as possible and we applaud the schools and districts that are making the extra effort to bring their students back in some form,” said Education Secretary James Peyser said in a statement. “At the same time, we know that remote learning will be part of the educational experience for many students this fall, so it’s critical that we enable parents, after-school providers, and community organizations to offer additional childcare options and learning supports when students are unable to attend school in person.”