New Dubuque School Calendar to Impact Before School Childcare Programs

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Some before school childcare programs in Dubuque are bracing for big numbers next year. Directors are expecting hundreds more students to be attending on Friday mornings during the 2014-2015 school year.

The Dubuque School Board voted last night on a new school calendar. It includes a one hour late arrival every Friday morning.Teachers will use that time for professional development.Administrators say that's the best way to maximize students' time in the classroom.

After school at Irving Elementary, students play a game of tag. They also play Legos and board games. It's anything to pass the time after school, before their parents get off work. It's part of the Dubuque Community Y's "Y-Care" program. That program is offered both before and after school at several Dubuque Elementary Schools.

Parent, Amanda Sternquist said,"My daughter is here for 15- 20 minutes. And they give her a snack and she loves to play. "

Y-Care Director, Jennie Dalsing is already thinking about how she'll staff Friday mornings, come fall.

"I don't think it's going to be a big deal because on Fridays the college kids never schedule classes, " said Dalsing.

Y Care costs $3.65 per hour, per child. Dalsing says the before and after school programs are structured, but fun, for kids who need to burn some energy.

"They would get breakfast," said Dalsing. "They would get games with staff. They can do their homework."

It's one way to start the day that's about to get a lot more popular.

St. Mark's Youth Enrichment has a similar before and after school program for students at the downtown schools.

The fee for that program is based on a sliding scale. But directors say the most any parent pays is $2 per child.
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