New Clarksburg elementary seeking provider for before- and after-school program -- Gazette.Net


Montgomery County Public Schools has set a deadline of April 23 to accept bids for a child care program at the new Wilson Wims Elementary school in Clarksburg.

Still under construction, the school for up to 734 students is set to open in August to serve students drawn from Little Bennett and Cedar Grove elementary schools, which are over capacity.

Once the bids are in, a committee made up of Wilson Wims staff and parents will evaluate the applicants by using a point system for each application, according to the school system’s request for proposal.

Applicants are asked to provide information about qualifications, experience, programmed services, insurance, budget, fees and staffing, as well as chances for parental involvement and approach to conflict mediation.

The committee will then interview the three top-rated applicants and announce its selection by mid-May, according to the announcement.

Both Little Bennett and Cedar Grove elementary schools host child care programs run by KidsCo, a company based in Gaithersburg offering before- and after-school programs in 17 locations, including Damascus Elementary School.

Cedar Grove Principal Lee Derby said staff and parents selected KidsCo several years ago to run the program at Cedar Grove Elementary, and the results have been good.

“They’re at maximum capacity, and there’s a waiting list,” Derby said.

KidsCo operates in the multi-purpose room, which during the day is used by the school for lunch, chorus practice and other activities.

“The setting up and breaking down goes quickly,” Derby said.

Students at Cedar Grove also make use of other after-school programs in the area, Derby said. They include The Goddard School, Greenridge Baptist Church, Imam Learning Center, Kindercare, La Petite and Optimal Learning Center, according to the Cedar Grove website.

The owner of KidsCo did not immediately respond to a call for comment Tuesday about whether KidsCo planned to bid to run the Wilson Wims childcare program or how the new program might affect its other locations in Clarksburg.

There are 118 privately run before- and after-school programs in county schools, according to the website for the county’s Community Use of Public Facilities department, which issues the permits to childcare providers.

The provider chosen for Wilson Wims Elementary must also be certified by the Maryland State Department of Education by the time the school opens, according to the county schools’ announcement.

Applicants are advised not to contact school system employees, members of the Wilson Wims selection committee or members of the Board of Education about the project.

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