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 and have no childcare supports. Registration is required.

The staff at these centers:

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

Access Centers are:

  • Designed to serve our most vulnerable children.
  • Available by registration only. Access Centers are not drop-in sites.
  • Free of charge.
  • 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.

Process and eligibility

Who is eligible

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

  • The children are entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Caregivers are working outside the home and cannot provide supervision, or are not able to afford childcare and need childcare for five days.

Access Centers provide childcare support for families without other options. Don't qualify for this program? You may be eligible for PHLConnectEd. PHLConnectED helps K-12 households with in-home internet access for digital learning.

How to register

Access Centers are not drop-in centers. You must register your child to attend this program. To express interest in registering your child:

  1. Read the "Who is eligible" section above to confirm your child qualifies.
  2. Fill out the Access Center registration interest form online, or call (215) 709-5366 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  3. Students are not registered until confirmed by an Access Center. If you are eligible, an Access Center team member will reach out to help you with the next step of registration. If you are not eligible, you will receive a response letting you know.

Note: 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.

Fill out the registration interest form

The parent/guardian of the child you wish to register should complete this form to express interest in Access Centers.

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)

Locations

Access Centers are located in recreation centers, libraries, Philadelphia Housing Authority sites, and community-based organizations. You can use the Access Center finder to search for one near you.

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.

Related programs

Partners

Office of Children and Families

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Free Library of Philadelphia

Department of Public Health


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