Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Arena Sports has joined the City of Seattle and other organizations in providing families active kid care during the Seattle Public Schools teacher strike. Photo courtesy Arena Sports.

Teachers strike: Where to find care and activities for kids

The City of Seattle and kid-focused organizations offer child care and activity options

There’s a teachers strike on, so where do you find care and activities for kids? The City of Seattle is providing a range of services to support parents and families in response to the Seattle Public Schools teacher strike that began Wednesday after the teachers union and school district failed to come to a contract agreement.

Here’s where to turn for help or activities for your kids:

City recreation and activity hubs

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), in partnership with the Associated Recreation Council (ARC), will offer Recreation Activity Hubs at eight designated community centers starting on Monday, September 12. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will have access to free recreational programs and activities, and families will be able to register online starting Thursday, September 8. 

“With the start of the school year delayed, the City of Seattle is activating community centers to serve as recreation drop-in locations – providing stability and safety that we know students need after two years of pandemic disruption,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a release. “We encourage teachers and the school district to urgently reach a just and fair resolution that centers our students and prioritizes their education and future.” 

The hubs will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the appointed hub centers across the city. The following community centers will serve as hubs: 

  • Alki Community Center
  • Ballard Community Center
  • Bitter Lake Community Center
  • Jefferson Community Center
  • Rainier Beach Community Center 
  • Montlake Community Center
  • High Point Community Center
  • Meadowbrook Community Center

Parks department officials warn community other fall recreation programs offered at these centers will be impacted by a facility’s use as a recreation and activity hub. Check with individual centers to see which regular fall programs will be impacted or postponed.

School-age care program update 

Seattle Parks and Recreation/Associated Recreation Council School-age Care programs will operate during afterschool hours for currently registered participants through Friday September 9.  Program hours are 2:30-6pm at the following locations: 

  • Alki Community Center
  • Ballard Community Center 
  • Bitter Lake Annex 
  • Genesee Hill Elementary School
  • Jefferson Community Center
  • John Muir Elementary School
  • John Rogers Elementary School 
  • Lafayette Elementary School 
  • Magnolia @ Blaine K-8 
  • McGilvra Elementary School
  • Northgate Community Center
  • Rainier Beach Community Center 
  • Thornton Creek Elementary School 
  • Wedgwood Elementary School
  • Van Asselt Community Center 
Child Care Assistance Program subsidy extension

Families who participate in the City’s Child Care Assistance Program and already have a child care provider for before- or after-school care will automatically receive additional subsidies to cover full-day care, should their provider have space during school hours.  

Families enrolled in before or after school child care with an SPS partner should look for messaging directly from their child care provider about their capacity to serve students. Find the full list of SPS child care partners here.

Help finding a child care provider

If you are not currently enrolled in childcare, please visit the Child Care Resources website or call 1-800-446-1114; they maintain lists of all licensed childcare providers in Seattle and can help you identify options. 

Care for preschoolers

Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) sites operated by SPS are scheduled to begin next Monday, September 12. If the strike persists into next week, the start of these programs could be delayed. SPS preschool families looking for care are encouraged to reach out to the Child Care Aware hotline at 1-800-446-1114 to receive information on licensed child care programs in the city that have open space to provide drop-in care.  

SPP sites operated by community organizations, including those at SPR sites, will open as scheduled.  

Organization’s offer camps and more

The Boys & Girls Club of King County will offer free full-day programming (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) this week at select locations for families who are already enrolled in their programs. Families are encouraged to contact individual sites for more information.  

Seattle families enrolled in the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Before and After School Enrichment (BASE) program will receive information about full-day care options available for their students through the Y’s direct email system.  

Other organizations offering activities or care for kids.

Arena Sports  indoor soccer facility at Magnuson Park is offering its Schools Out Camps for a fee Friday, September 9. Camps are available for half or full days.

Environmentally focused outdoor school Pinnacle Explorations  is extending its summer camps during strike days. To get on a waiting list in case of and extended strike, go to the school’s website to register.

FrogLegs cooking school will offer half-day “fall flavor festival” camps September 12–16 if the strike moves past this weekend. Details and registration will be posted the morning of Friday, September 9.

Boys and Girls Clubs will offer emergency all-day programming at their Wallingford, Smilow Rainier Vista, Ballard, Rotary, View Ridge, and North Seattle sites from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fees apply.

Meals for students and other district help

The City of Seattle will distribute free meals for students each day until Seattle Public Schools teachers strike ends and the district’s nearly 50,000 students return to school. Last week the city announced it would also open eight recreation and activity hubs to help ease the pressure of finding child care during the strike.

Working with volunteers from community organizations and Parent Teacher Student Associations, the city will distribute meals prepared by the Seattle Public Schools’ culinary services team.

Students, parents or guardians may pick up the grab-and-go meals at 50 locations across the city. Students do no need to be present for a parent or guardian to receive their meals. Free meals are available at the following locations from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m Monday through Friday:

  • Albert Davis Park – 12526 27th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
  • Alki Community Center – 5817 SW Stevens St., Seattle, WA 98116
  • B.F Day Playground – 4020 Fremont Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
  • Ballard Com Center/Playground – 6020 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107
  • Ballard Community Center – 6020 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107
  • Be’er Sheva Park – 8650 55th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Benefit Playground – 9320 38th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Bitter Lake Community Center – 13035 Linden Ave. N Seattle, WA 98133
  • Bitter Lake Playground – N 130th St &, Linden Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98133
  • Brighton Playfield – 6000 39th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Cedarvale House & Village – 11050 8th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125 (11:00AM – 1:00PM)
  • Dahl Playground – 7700 25th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • E.C. Hughes Playground – 2805 SW Holden St., Seattle, WA 98126
  • East Queen Anne Playground – 1912 Warren Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109
  • Genesee Play and Playfield – 4316 S Genesee St., Seattle, WA 98118
  • Green Lake Park Playground – 7201 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Hiawatha Playfield – 2700 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116
  • High Point Community Center – 6920 34th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98126
  • Highland Park Playground – 1100 SW Cloverdale St., Seattle, WA 98106
  • Hutchinson Playground – 59th Ave. S & S Norfolk St., Seattle, WA 98118
  • Jackson Park House & Village – 14396 30th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125 (11:00AM – 1:00PM)
  • Jefferson Community Center – 3801 Beacon Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Jefferson Park Playground – 3801 Beacon Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Jimi Hendrix Park – 2400 S Massachusetts St., Seattle, WA 98144
  • Licton Springs Park – 9536 Ashworth Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103
  • Loyal Heights Playfield – 2101 NW 77th St., Seattle, WA 98117
  • Madrona Park Playground – 3211 E Spring St., Seattle, WA 98122
  • Magnolia Playground – 2518 34th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98199
  • Maple Leaf Playground – 1020 NE 82nd St., Seattle, WA 98115
  • Maple Wood Playfield – 4801 Corson Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Marra-Desimone Park – 9026 4th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98108
  • Meadowbrook Community Center – 10517 35th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
  • Meadowbrook Park Playground – 10533 35th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
  • Montlake Community Center – 1618 E Calhoun St., Seattle, WA 98112
  • Mt. Baker Park (By Pickleball and Tennis Courts) – Lake Park Dr. S, Seattle, WA 98144
  • Northacres Park – 12718 1st Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
  • Pinehurst Pocket Park – 11700 19th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
  • Pratt Park – 201 20th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144
  • Puget Ridge Playground – 6029 21st Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98106
  • Rainier Beach Community Center – 8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Ravenna Parks – 5520 Ravenna Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105
  • Rogers Playground – 2516 Eastlake Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98102
  • Roxhill Park – 2850 SW Roxbury St., Seattle, WA 98126
  • Soundview Playfield – 1590 NW 90th St., Seattle, WA 98117
  • Southwest Teen Life Center / Pool – 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126
  • TT Minor Playground – 1698 E Union St., Seattle, WA 98122
  • Volunteer Park – 1247 15th Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98112
  • Warren G. Magnuson Park Playground – 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

The school district will publish details about student meals, childcare, additional resources on its Family Resource and FAQ webpage.

More at Seattle’s Child:

“Seattle Public Schools teachers strike”

About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at