Call 3-1-1, (866) 311-7266, or visit for easy access to all non-emergency City services and information. Click here for local COVID-19 information.

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

September 1, 2020 1:35 PM
by Sirinya Matute

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

(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.

Skip Ahead

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:

  • Online Writing Lab: Submit essays and other forms of writing for constructive feedback (24-hour turnaround)
  • Skill Surfer: Offers self-study resources including practice tests (PSAT/SAT, ACT, AP, and other state-standardized tests)
  • Homework Question Center: Submit homework questions for expert guidance

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

Back to Top

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: /students

Back to Top

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

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 –

  • Openings: Ages 1 month – 7 years
  • Contact: 310-663-2169; Hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 p.m.


CC’s House -

  • Openings: Accepting Children 1 week – 10 years; separate classroom available for distance learning (children must bring their own laptops)
  • Contact: 310-828-9698; Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 p.m.

Cuddle Bear Daycare -

  • Openings: Ages 1 month – 3 years
  • Contact: 310- 829-1400; Hours: 7:30 am – 6 p.m.

Early Childhood Learning -

  • Openings: Ages 1-5 years; half-days; accepting older children on case-by-case basis.
  • Contact: 310-403-8659; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Kennedy Family Child Care –

  • Openings: Ages 3 months – 5 years
  • Contact: 310 921-0879 or; Hours: 7:45 am – 5:30 p.m.

Sarian Family Child Care –

  • Openings: Ages 1 month – 5 years
  • Contact: 310-878-7215; Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Szasz Family Child Care

  • Openings: Age 10 months – 5 years; accept older children on case-by-case basis (after school care, no distance learning)
  • Contact: 310-795-5306; Hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 p.m.


Berg Family Child Care  

  • Openings: Ages  1 – 5 years
  • Contact: 310-487-7706; Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 p.m.

Colasanti Family Child Care

  • Openings: Ages 3 months – 5 years
  • Contact: 310- 450-3706; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Monday - Sunday)

Inquiries Only

Programs are open Monday – Friday, except where noted.

  • Amalia Daycare (90404) – Contact: 310-314-2719; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Barahona Family Child Care (90401). Contact: Hours: of operation: 8:00 am – 5 p.m.
  • Collier Family Child Care (90405). Contact: 310-926-9188; Hours: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • The Mulberry Tree Wonderschool (90405). Contact: 310- 396-3322; Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Esmail Family Child Care (90405). Contact: 310-452-0322; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Frida’s Spanish School (90405). Contact: 310-689-9881; Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Gillybean School (90405). Contact: 310-452-5740; Hours 8:30 am – 2 p.m.
  • Haggerstrom Family Child Care (90404). Contact: 310-633-3375; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Haris Family Child Care (90404). Contact: 310-453-7810; Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Koala Children’s Center (90404). Contact: 310-310-3277; Hours: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Kras Family Child Care (90405) Contact: 310-314-0648; Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 6:59 a.m.
  • Nuestra Casita Nursery (90405) - nuestracasitanursery.comContact: 310-912-5475; Hours: 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • SMAP Child Care (90405). Contact: 310-452-6836. Open: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Pages Family Child Care (90404). Contact: 310-994-5514 or; Hours: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Stepping Stone Child Care and Preschool (90405). Contact: 310-453-6316; Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool (90405).  Contact: 310-801-3616 Hours: 8:00 am – 5 p.m. 
  • Wild Poppy Studio (90405). Contact: 310-529-4457; Hours: 8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Back to Top

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 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. 

  • CREST: CREST Club (for ages 8-14) is up & running at Reed Park with current spaces available. For more information, visit
  • Police Activities League (PAL): Fall programs will begin in September 2020 on a very limited basis. For more information, visit
  • Virginia Avenue Park (VAP): Fall programs will begin in September 2020 on a very limited basis. For more information, visit

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD)

  • Before- and after-school care: In the planning stage, with assistance from teachers to help homework needs and fitness. Currently enrolled families will be given priority for before and after care, and there is no guarantee of available space.
  • In-School work hubs: Supervised environment for students to focus on distance learning is pending County approval. SMMUSD will contact families that indicated an interest earlier this summer.
  • More at:

Santa Monica YMCA Distance Learning (elementary school)

  • Availability: Some half-day spots still available
  • Cost: Full Day: $270, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Half Day: $135, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Distance Learning only). Financial aid available through Connections for Children.
  • Contact: or (310) 393-2721 x 123
  • Register: Download Registration Form.

The Activity Center (ages 6 – 12)

  • Available: Afternoon drop-in spaces. Regular day is sold out.
  • Cost: Regular Day (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.): $550 / 10 days or $300 / 5 days ($60/day); Extended Day (2:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.): +$15 / Day (billed separately); Afternoon Drop-In (2 p.m. – 5 p.m.): $250 / 10 days ($25/day)* or $150 / 5 days  ($30/day)*
  • Contact: or call (310) 907-7399

Realm Creative Academy (elementary and middle school)

Mathnasium of Santa Monica (grades K-12)

  • Available: In-Person math tutoring
  • Contact: 310-692-7785 or email

Kumon Math and Reading Center of Santa Monica

  • Available: In-Person math and reading tutoring
  • Cost: $175 per month, per subject.
  • Contact: 310-394-0902 or

310 Tutors Distance Learning Programs

  • Available: POD instructors at home or in center on weekdays to manage online classes and supervise assignment completion
  • Contact: (310) 434-9944 or email

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)

  • Available: Half-day and full-day options available.  Download Flyer
    • Half Day: 8:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. morning session, 12 p.m. – 3:15 pm afternoon session  (Academic support, In-person distant learning pods)
    • All Day 8:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Academic support, In-person distant learning pods, recreation recess breaks + after school care/programs)
  • Cost:   Full Day: $300/month (averages $75 /week); Half Day: Free (Can only attend one session per day). Financial aid available 
  • Contact: or (310) 394-2582
  • Register:
    • Must be an active member to participate in virtual and in-person 

Young Scholars Academy (grades 5-8)

  • Available: Remote learning supervision, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Enrichment Plus Program, 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Contact: 424-835-5324 or email
  • Register: Apply online or download application

Back to Top

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

  • Available: After-school sport clinics (substitute for P.E.) for grades 6 - 8
  • Cost: $100/week for Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday sessions, 3:30 pm. - 5:30 p.m. 
  • Contact: Eric Mirich at 310.829.4995 or email

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

  • Available: Meeting Rooms for pods; work station or private offices for families (members may bring up to 2 kids - ages 10+). 
  • Contact: (310) 526 2255 |
  • More at: Click here

Back to Top

Updated October 12, 2020

Back to top