Belmont-Redwood Shores School District (BRSSD) officials decided Thursday to postpone a Request For Proposal (RFP) process for school-age child care services at Fox and Central Elementary Schools, striking down an earlier decision that had quickly become controversial with parents.
Originally at their meeting on March 7th, BRSSD board voted to move forward with an RFP process for daycare services at the two schools this year. Proposals would have been accepted until April 15th. But a number of parents became incensed when they learned that the current daycare providers may not be able to fairly participate in the bidding process.
The current providers for the two schools, Curiosity Corner at Fox and San Carlos-Belmont After School at Central, were notified of the district’s intentions to seek out bids only days before the board’s meeting.
If either were to lose its contract with the school district, complications could quickly arise for parents with children enrolled for summer or fall sessions in 2013, prompting a number of parents to write to district officials expressing their concerns.
Both Curiosity Corner and San Carlos-Belmont After School both have longstanding relationships with the district, and remain popular with many parents.
One of those parents is Marvin Sanders, who said that while his own kids love the current after-school programs at Central Elementary, he doesn’t have a problem with the district seeking out alternative providers.
“It’s the real world,” Sanders said, “and sometimes you have to compete for business and I understand that.”
But, he added, “I strongly objected to an RFP proposal that really disadvantages some of the participants.”
Recognizing that the original RFP timeline could prove to be “problematic” in a number of ways, the board moved to adopt a resolution to put off the process until the 2013-2014 school year.
Additionally, district officials will be setting up a committee of parents, principals and other school staff to review the entirety of BRSSD’s after-school child care system. The RFP process will begin anew in September.
The resolution specifically mentioned including “all of the district’s current child care providers.”
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