West Seattle scene: Why there’s a line outside Hiawatha Community Center

Thanks to Amy for the photo. She explains that the guy in the foreground outside Hiawatha Community Center is her husband, “taking a vacation day from work to wait in line with many other working parents for a chance at a spot in Seattle Parks and Recreation’s after-care program!”

As verified by this post on Seattle Parks‘ blog-format website Parkways, today is indeed the first day to sign up for before- and after-school care offered next year. This one-sheet has specifics, including Hiawatha’s programs at not only the center itself, but also at Genesee Hill and Lafayette Elementaries, as well as the former Schmitz Park Elementary. In our area, Alki, Delridge, and High Point Community Centers have programs too.

2 Replies to "West Seattle scene: Why there's a line outside Hiawatha Community Center"

  • Adam May 8, 2018 (10:23 pm)

    This system is so completely insane. By 11:30 am there were probably 100 people in line and they were still processing forms by 2 pm. It’s ironic that to sign up for a service to provide child care while you work you have to take off at least a few hours if not the better part of a day. The entire line was full of angry parents, but the worst part was that there was no accountable individual present from the Parks and Rec department to receive the feedback, or even just observe the issues for themselves and figure out how to do it better next time. Our city, and our community, deserve better, especially given the dearth of available before- and after-school care options in West Seattle. 

  • Mike May 9, 2018 (7:12 am)

    It’s only going to get more competitive as we continue to have insane amounts of people moving here.  The parks and rec dept childcare is the cheapest you’ll find, so it’s highly coveted just so people don’t go broke trying to keep working.  For a comparison, here’s a take from a King5 article about our cities growth and cost of living, https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/families-priced-out-of-seattle-as-cost-of-living-skyrockets/281-546127430 Average infant childcare costs 25% more than a year’s tuition at University of Washington”

    We’re forcing out middle income families, making our city accessible to single individuals and DINK (dual income no kids).   I’m incredibly fortunate that we bought our home in 2003 and my kids are now no longer needing full time day care.  In 2013 we paid $3200/ month for full time child care for two kids…. far more than our mortgage.  Glad I’m done with that, can’t imagine what it would be now.

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