L.A. Unified strike closes schools. What are parents’ child-care options?

United Teachers of Los Angeles and SEIU 99 members hold a joint rally at Grand Park
A rally at Grand Park a week before a strike that could close L.A. Unified schools.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and other groups over the weekend announced reinforcements for parents who need child-care options during a three-day strike that will close many district campuses for regular instruction starting Tuesday.

During a Monday news conference, LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho said parents should find the closest site to them that will be open for student supervision — but he added that they should identify two or three alternatives in case the nearest site reaches capacity.

On Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the city is “ready to provide safe places” for LAUSD students at city parks. Some district campuses will open for student supervision, and some county-run parks will be open as well.


The nation’s second-largest school district ground to a halt Tuesday as 30,000 service employees — joined in sympathy by about 30,000 teachers — walked off the job to begin an anticipated three-day strike in demand of higher wages.

March 22, 2023

Here are the details on available child-care options.

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The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation will open parks for free programming for first- through fifth-grade students from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The parks program will offer assistance with school assignments, recreation activities, lunch and snacks at 30 locations. Registration at the city-run sites is required and can be done online. Space is limited to 40 slots at each site. As of 6 p.m. Monday, 23 sites still had availability, and seven were at capacity.

LAUSD initially said its more than 1,000 campuses would be closed, but now parents have the option of dropping off students at some elementary, middle and high schools for supervision from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Here’s a map of campuses that will be open; no registration is required. The district says that website will show real-time capacity at each campus.

And L.A. County announced Friday that it will temporarily open free drop-in recreation programming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at 16 parks. Here’s the L.A. County Parks Department’s announcement. Programming will include sports, games and arts and crafts for 7- to 17-year-olds. The department is also opening the Deane Dana Friendship Nature Center and Stoneview Nature Center to provide meals. Breakfast will be provided from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The district launched a school update website and created an online map that shows school sites (blue pins), city sites (purple pins) and L.A. County sites (green pins) with supervision and recreation, so parents can see child-care options near them. A red pin means a given site is at capacity. The map will be updated in real time, the district said. If a student requires any special accommodations or has specific health concerns, parents are advised to inform the on-site manager immediately.

LAUSD strike

Free child-care options

LAUSD and the city and county of L.A. are offering free programming for LAUSD students during a planned three-day strike.

  • Some LAUSD campuses will be open for student supervision that includes meals. The district created an up-to-date map showing available sites and their capacity.

    Some L.A. city parks will offer programming to elementary school students; registration is required. You can register your student online.

    Some L.A. County parks will offer drop-in recreation programs.

Here are other organizations and businesses parents can consider for child care.

Public libraries

Los Angeles Public Libraries are welcoming students; however, supervision is not available.


There will be regularly scheduled events for kids and teens, which include science workshops, craft programs and chess clubs. All libraries will be prepared to engage kids, teens and families with educational hands-on activities.

The libraries will be open during normal business hours. Visit the library website for locations, hours and programs.

It’s not clear how much progress in last-minute bargaining would have been needed to halt LAUSD strike. Families, groups and agencies are scrambling to cope.

March 20, 2023

L.A. Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo is offering free admission to students in grades K-12 — chaperones will be admitted for $5. Students need to prove enrollment by presenting their school identification card, report card, school newsletter or similar proof.

Tickets must be purchased in person at the L.A. Zoo box office; the offer is not available online.

The zoo is also offering a Community Safari Day program for children in grades K-5 for $50 per student. The zoo’s learning and engagement staff will lead students in activities and crafts. The program is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — with extended morning hours starting at 8 and extended afternoon hours until 5 p.m. In the event that the school closures end, any fees paid for future dates will be refunded.

Parents in the Los Angeles school district are forced to scramble as a three-day strike looms. Child care and how to feed their children are top of mind.

March 18, 2023

Nonprofit organizations

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor will offer arts, music, sports and academic activities starting at 8 a.m. at its six non-school sites in San Pedro, Wilmington and other nearby neighborhoods. Current members can go for free; a year’s membership costs $25.


An East Los Angeles nonprofit, InnerCity Struggle, plans to open its community center in Boyle Heights to provide educational activities, homework support and meals throughout the day.

Hundreds of special education assistants spoke of higher wages and smaller class sizes, but also about a lack of basic respect and an understanding of their work.

March 17, 2023

Other programs

Got Game Camp opened its online registration portal to L.A. Unified students for a program at Cornerstone Church in Westchester for $95 a day, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The group is looking to secure additional facilities in Mid-City and the Valley. The camp is also making available coaches to come to homes and work with “pods” of four to eight students. Call (310) 975-8524, ext. 1. (If school resumes before the planned duration of the strike, the camp is unable to offer refunds. The balance can be used toward spring or summer camp or after-school programs.)

Monarch Camps in the San Fernando Valley is offering programming with drop-off times between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and pickup from 2:30 to 3 p.m. There is also an option for later afternoon care. Children can expect sports, arts and crafts, special projects and games. You can register for $75 a day, or $65 a day for each sibling of a current member. Call (818) 304-3016.

Lizzy’s Schoolhouse in Sherman Oaks is offering a day camp for children 5 and up. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $60 a day. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Call (818) 616-3235 or text (661) 313-1352.

Mia’s Gymnastics, Tumbling and Dance Academy is opening to all students ages 4 to 12 who are affected by the strike. For the three days, programming will consist of homework time (including tutoring); open gym play; one gymnastics, tumbling or dance class; arts and crafts; and other educational activities. The program will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $90 a day; breakfast, lunch or snacks are $20 extra. Register online or call (747) 444-2337.

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About this article

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