NEW DETAILS: Kettering schools OKs child care rate hikes for those with district jobs

KETTERING — Child care costs will increase next school year for Kettering City Schools’ employees using an in-house program.

But the rates for a more popular child care service for parents of district students will remain unchanged for now as officials continue to explore options for a third-party provider, an official said.

Charges for the Kettering Early Childhood Education Center’s child care will go up when the 2022-’23 school year begins in August after a series of increases approved by the board of education.

The education center’s program is an option the district provides for its about 1,200 employees. The school district is among the city’s top jobs providers, records show.

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“That program obviously needs to be self-sufficient,” district spokeswoman Kari Basson said. “So those increases are going to be made for that purpose.”

Records show the current and new rates approved by the school board include:

•Infants, ages 6-12 months, from $235 to $260 weekly.

•Crawlers, 12-24 months, from $225 to $260 weekly.

•Toddlers, 24-36 months, from $215 to $250 weekly.

•Preschool, 36-60+ months, from $195 to $225 weekly.

•Before/After Preschool Enrichment: from $400 to $450 monthly.

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The education center’s program includes 79 children, while the before- and after-school one used by parents has about 450 students, Basson said.

The district continues to consider third-party vendor options for the more widely used program, Kettering schools Superintendent Scott Inskeep said in recent weeks on the district’s website.

Basson said this week that officials are “working with a couple of different providers to see which one is going to fit best for our families’ needs.

“But the goal is certainly to keep the pricing for our elementary child care program as close at what it currently is as possible,” she added.

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Parents are charged $7 an hour for one child and $4 an hour each additional one, district records show.

Concern about the cost of a switch prompted some parents last year to start an online petition signed by more than 350 people. The petition stated the change would significantly increase the price of the program and be “crippling to the families.”

Inskeep said staff shortages prompted the district to consider contracting with a business or the YMCA.

The longtime Kettering program has about 24 to 26 employees when fully staffed, but those numbers had dropped to the low teens in December, Inskeep told the Dayton Daily News.

The part-time positions pay from $14 to $18 an hour, and the program is not subsidized by the district, Inskeep has said.

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