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Hillsborough County cancels summer camps

The closures will likely exacerbate problems with childcare as Florida reopens.

Hillsborough County is canceling its Parks and Recreation department’s summer camps, the county announced Thursday.

The closures, they said, are to ensure the health and safety of residents.

Full refunds are available to families who have already registered.

The move aligns with Hillsborough County Public Schools decision to cancel in-person summer classes and is aimed at protecting the safety of children, their families, and Parks & Recreation staff who lead the camps, according to the county.

Summer camps usually begin the first week of June and run for two-week sessions throughout the summer.

The county is developing virtual programming for kids designed to engage and educate during summer vacation, though that will likely be of little solace to parents and caregivers who rely on the camps for child care over the summer.

Those families have already been struggling with childcare options since mid-March when public schools closed due to the novel coronavirus.

Private camps are permitted to run under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan. Those options, however, can be more expensive than public options, which are often subsidized by local governments.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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