Hundreds of Puyallup families benefit from new childcare options
Hundreds of Puyallup families benefit from new childcare options
Posted on 11/30/2017
RAS

Nearly 1,000 Puyallup students are learning before and after school in a structured and meaningful childcare program housed at their own school. 

Each of the district’s 21 elementary schools now offer childcare through a new provider called Right At School (RAS). As of November 20, 2017 there are 940 students registered in the program.

The RAS curriculum provides students with activities that are aligned to academic standards. “They even offer homework help for students needing support,” says Chief Instructional Leadership Officer Vince Pecchia.

In February, the PSD Board of Directors took action on a recommendation to consider entering into a contract with the new childcare vendor to support families at each elementary school. Providing more options for families has been an interest of the directors of the school board and an idea coming from the district’s PTA Council leadership. When researching vendors the committee was most interested in a program:

  • Designed for students in preschool through grade six.
  • Aligned to academic standards that offer a continuum of services.
  • Housed in all elementary schools.
  • Flexible in payment options for families.
  • Able to provide childcare from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Previously, only 11 schools offered childcare. With RAS there are twice as many options for Puyallup families in finding childcare.

“The Right At School curriculum is aligned to academic standards and incorporates elements of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies,” says Chief Instructional Leadership Officer Vince Pecchia. Right At School promotes what they call “disguised learning,” meaning the learning activities are fun and engaging.

Puyallup was the first school district in Washington state to offer the RAS program to families. Puyallup’s September opening enrollment was the largest ever for RAS. Now, other area school districts are considering the option for their own communities.

The school district is pleased with the interest and effectiveness of the program. Not only does RAS provides families with an opportunity to access childcare services at their home school, there is no waitlist, so all interested families are served.

“Right At School aligns with our strategic directions,” says Pecchia. “Specifically, the improvement of instruction, student growth, and achievement; communication, engagement, and involvement; and effective resource management. The Puyallup School District is appreciative of the partnership with Right At School – a real team effort to ensure families and students are supported within the program.”

Recently, Pecchia learned how even more families will be able to access these services. Right At School is now accepting child care subsidy. Families interested in learning more about their options can contact the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) call center at 877-501-2233 or visit their website at www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/community-services-offices/child-care-subsidy-program

Provider identification numbers for each elementary school in Puyallup are listed below. 

DHSH