20 (and Counting) Options For Working Families Managing Distance Learning & School Age Child Care

September 1, 2020 1:35 PM
by Sirinya Matute

(En español: 20 (y siguen aumentando) opciones para las familias trabajadoras que se hacen cargo de la educación a distancia y el cuidado de niños en edad escolar)

Updated October 12, 2020

We understand that this is an extremely stressful time for working families everywhere – Santa Monica is no exception – especially with the launch of the new school year on August 18 (LAUSD) and August 24 (SMMUSD). For many families, the plan is online distance learning per your school’s classroom schedule per each kid. This roundup compiles additional options for local child care and tutoring, with an emphasis on programs that are free or offer financial aid.

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Free Live Online Tutoring Help through Brainfuse

Brainfuse HelpNow is the Santa Monica Public Library’s online homework help from one-on-one tutors, daily from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. Brainfuse provides tutoring in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in subjects such as math, science, reading/writing, and social studies. 

You can get help 24/7 with these resources:

Brainfuse provides many ways to learn, including electronic flash cards, the option to set up virtual study groups, and resources for ELL and ESL learners. 

Watch this helpful video from our city librarians for an overview of Brainfuse:

There is no time limit on access.

A tip from our Santa Monica Public Library librarians: It can be hard for children under 8 to articulate questions to an online tutor, so parents may need to be on hand to help facilitate.

For more information, check out this tutorial from Satna Monica Public Library, which gives a brief overview of all that Brainfuse offers

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Tutoring through School On Wheels

School on Wheels is a nonprofit that provides one-on-one virtual tutoring for children who are experiencing homelessness or living in a group home setting.

Download Flyer >

Learn more: schoolonwheels.org /students

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Licensed Family Child Care

Santa Monica has 20 licensed family child care programs, with about 10 currently accepting new children. All are licensed to enroll school age children, but are doing so on a case-by-case basis in practice. You'll need to contact the provider directly to discuss your situation to determine whether it's a good fit.

With small group sizes, flexible drop-off and pick-up times, and the capacity to enroll multiple children from the same family, a licensed family child care program can be viable for families who can oversee their children’s distance-based learning in the morning, but need child care after school. You may even be able to team up with another family at the same location to manage distance-based learning.

With the support of Connections for Children, our local providers operate high-quality programs, with plenty of outdoor play and minimal (or no) screen time. All of these programs must adhere to public health guidance from the County for early care and school-age care.  Committing to one of these programs is also a direct investment in a local Santa Monica business, in a sector led mostly by Black and Latinx women.

Financial aid through Connections for Children may be available for qualifying families. Contact Connections for an application and a current list of providers with openings by calling (310) 452-3325, ext. 260, or emailing Shirley Perez at shirleyp@cfc-ca.org.

Child Care Checklist from Connections for Children >

If you are interested in openings at a licensed center-based program, Connections for Children can also help. They are not included in this particular roundup.

Programs with Openings by Zip Code

All programs are open Monday – Friday, except where noted.


Montana Preschool – montanapreschoolsantamonica.com


CC’s House - ccshousechildcare.com

Cuddle Bear Daycare - cuddlebeardaycare.wordpress.com

Early Childhood Learning - www.early-childhood-learning.com

Kennedy Family Child Care – kennedyfamilychildcare.com

Sarian Family Child Care – sarianfamilychildcare.com

Szasz Family Child Care


Berg Family Child Care  

Colasanti Family Child Care

Inquiries Only

Programs are open Monday – Friday, except where noted.

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In-Person Distance Learning Programs


This is a roundup of local businesses that are offering in-person help with distance learning and online assignment support. Some of them also offer enrichment activities to provide PE, STEM, and socialization with other kids. Inclusion here is not an endorsement. Email us at info@santamonica.gov if you’d like to see your program listed here.

City of Santa Monica

This fall, the City of Santa Monica’s out of school programs will continue to reopen with limited capacity to ensure safety for the community. City staff are working to make necessary changes to programming due to modified operating hours, staff reductions, social distancing, and infection control guidance. 

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD)

Santa Monica YMCA Distance Learning (elementary school)

The Activity Center (ages 6 – 12)

Realm Creative Academy (elementary and middle school)

Mathnasium of Santa Monica (grades K-12)

Kumon Math and Reading Center of Santa Monica

310 Tutors Distance Learning Programs

Beach Moms Child Development Center Remote Learning (ages 0 - 12)

Dreamland Center (ages 0 - 1st grade)

Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica (age 6 - 18)

Young Scholars Academy (grades 5-8)

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Exercise, Fitness and Recreation

We encourage Santa Monica youth to get active after a long day of doing remote schooling! 

City of Santa Monica Community Recreation

Santa Monica Swim Center

Bay Club Santa Monica

Playground Partnership program - field space at Santa Monica public schools 

Co-Working Spaces for Remote Learning

These spaces are adhering to the County protocol for office-based workplaces. This might be an option for families that need/can afford space to work together or in a small group; they offer high-speed internet. Note that child care is NOT provided - parents and guardians will need to supervise their children.

Blank Spaces

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Updated October 12, 2020

Authored By

Sirinya Matute
Transportation Management Specialist