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Access Centers

Providing families without childcare a safe space for digital learning.

About

Access Centers provide Philadelphia’s most vulnerable students with a safe place for digital learning when caregivers work outside the home, have no childcare options, or cannot support students with online learning.

The staff at these centers:

  • Supervise students during digital learning time.
  • Provide meals.
  • Run activities.

Access Centers are:

  • Free of charge.
  • Designed to serve our most vulnerable children.
  • Available by registration only. (Access Centers are not drop-in sites.)
  • Open to Philadelphia students entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Located throughout the city.

Access Centers provide supervision for children while school buildings are closed. They do not provide academic services or instruction. Instead, students take part in digital learning led by their schools.

The City is partnering with community-based organizations to offer these services during COVID-19.

How to register

1
Confirm that your child is eligible.

Caregivers of Philadelphia students can register for an Access Center if:

  • The children are entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Certain Access Centers also accept students in grades 7 and 8.
  • Caregivers are working outside the home and cannot provide supervision, are not able to afford childcare and need childcare for five days, or cannot support students with online learning.

If you don’t qualify for Access Centers, you may be eligible for PHLConnectEd. This program helps K-12 households with in-home internet access for digital learning.

2
Use the Access Center finder to search for a center near you.

Access Centers are located in recreation centers, libraries, Philadelphia Housing Authority sites, and community-based organizations. You can indicate your preferred Access Center when you register.

3
Fill out the online registration interest form for each child.

If you prefer, you can also register by calling (215) 709-5366 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

An Access Center team member will contact you to confirm your eligibility. Students are not registered until confirmed by an Access Center.

Currently, we are responding to a high volume of registration requests. We process requests in the order they are received. You only need to submit one request per child.

Access Center finder

Ready to find a center near you?

View an interactive map of Access Centers and choose one that is convenient for you.

Find an Access Center

How Access Centers work

Schedule

The first set of Access Centers opens on Tuesday, September 8. A second set will open on September 21.

Sites are open to registered students Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on the following dates:

  • Monday, September 28 (full-day closure)
  • Monday, October 12 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, October 16 (sites close at 12 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, November 3 (full-day closure)
  • Wednesday, November 11 (full-day closure)
  • Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, December 11 (half day, closure at noon)
  • Thursday, December 24 through Friday, January 1 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, January 15 (half day, closure at noon)
  • Monday, January 18 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, February 12 (half day, closure at noon)
  • Monday, February 15 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, March 26 (half day, closure at noon)
  • Monday, March 29 through Friday, April 2 (full-day closure)
  • Thursday, May 13 (full-day closure)
  • Tuesday, May 18 (full-day closure)
  • Friday, May 28 (half day, closure at noon)
  • Monday, May 31 (full-day closure)

All Access Centers will close after Friday, June 11.

Health and safety

Access Centers follow the health and safety guidelines under the Department of Public Health’s school-reopening plan (PDF). We limit site registration to align with health and safety guidelines. Most sites serve around 22 students.

In addition, Access Centers use a positive approach to discipline and follow a standard set of rules. View the discipline policy and rules.

Staffing

All staff will have appropriate training and clearances. Staffing varies by location and is being provided by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Free Library of Philadelphia, Office of Children and Families' Out-of-School Time network, and other community-based organizations.


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