Child care, meals, activities: Parent resources during Minneapolis educators strike 

People hold signs and walk along the sidewalk.
Students, parents, and teachers rally outside of Washburn High School during the first day of a strike by union members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers on Tuesday.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Updated: March, 9

Minneapolis educators went on strike Tuesday after negotiations between the city’s public school district and its teacher’s union on a new contract failed. There is no immediate indication when talks might resume.

During the strike all classes pre-K through 12th grade and Transition Plus classes will be canceled. That puts more than 30,000 kids out of classrooms and about 4,000 teachers and staff out of work. 

Here’s are some resources for families in need of child care or other support while classrooms are closed. Have a resource to share? Let us know here and we may add it to this guide. 

Child care resources 

Minneapolis Public Schools shared a document of resources for child care and other needs.

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Free and low-cost 

Among the child care options listed by the district are the Boys & Girls clubs, with three locations in Minneapolis. The programs are free but registration is required and space is limited. 

Two YMCA locations in Minneapolis will be providing child care, with a cost of $12 a day at the Northside location and $45 a day at the Blaisdell location. Registration is also required. 

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is making 10 “hub sites” with activities available to kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade from noon to 9 p.m. each weekday. Space is limited and registration is required for any children dropped off before 3 p.m. 

The board’s 37 other centers will provide their usual programming from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., with some outdoor programming available 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at certain locations. 

Starting Wednesday, 826 MSP will be open to 20 students — first come first served — from noon to 3 p.m. daily. Snacks and activities will be provided.

They don’t provide child care, but school-based clinics are still open to help meet physical and mental health needs. 

Similarly, United 211 provides confidential health services and resources are available in multiple languages. 

Commercial programs 

The district also highlighted some educational programs taking registrations and providing activities during weekdays, though some come with a slightly higher price tag.

Hive Martial Arts has an educational camp for students kindergarten through 5th grade, running daily from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $255 a week. Snacks are provided but students should bring a packed lunch. 

Active Solutions is hosting a series of pop-up camps for students K-5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a cost of $64 a day.

Another resource serving grades K-5 is the Bilingual Language Center. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the price per child varying depending on the hours you choose. The Center provides breakfast and a snack but kids should bring a packed lunch. 

If you’re able to bring your kids to Edina, Code Ninjas has a day camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for kids ages 6 to 15. The cost is $89 per day. The program teaches kid coding and other tech skills. 

Articulture is offering day camp options for parents in need of care during the strike. Their programs are focused on helping kids express themselves by creating art. Prices vary by program. There is a masking requirement when indoors.

Food resources 

A meal bag with breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up at each school starting Wednesday, with individual schools sharing details and hours directly with families. 

Free meals are also available at community distribution sites around Minneapolis. These bags of nonperishable food items are for students as well as families and individuals. Hours vary by location so check Every Meal’s website before you go. 

Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization that is offering takeaway meals to families in need at several locations around Minneapolis and across the metro area. They have an interactive map where you can check time and location of services.

In downtown Minneapolis, House of Charity provides free meals to the public every day for lunch, noon to 1 p.m.

At-home education and activities 

If you are able to keep your children at home but are looking for some engaging and educational activities for them to focus on, here are some suggestions from educators, listeners and our parent’s Facebook group

Need help staying online?

Comcast and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation board art partnering to offer 10 “lift sites” that will have free WiFi access available.

Families can also apply for a $30 credit toward their internet bill through the Affordability Connectivity Program. The credit can be used toward Comcast’s Internet Essentials service for free internet, learn more on their website.

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