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Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

  • 1.  Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 30 days ago
    Hi, we are currently paying for childcare/school during the school closure due to the pandemic. My child is 3 and the school cares for kids 6 months to 5 yrs old. Its a private non-profit.  Since MidMarch the school has been closed and we are doing virtual lessons 20 minute circle time 900-920 and virtual  smartboard time 1045 -1105. Throughout the day the teachers will send photos,, activities videos/crafts and lesson videos. The school is inclusive of all abilities. My child so happens to have an extra chromosome,  Trisomy 21. I mention this, since the reason we have her at the school is for the early intervention aspect so she is prepared or somewhat prepared, for when she enters kindergarten.  My husband and I are both currently working from home and it has been challenging to do both, work and care (all that caring encompasses) along ensure she is learning/working on activities during the day. I completely understand we are not alone and what is happening is unprecedented.  We thought in good faith we will pay for April and see how this virtual set up will go. Its has not been great, since of course we have work to do too and deadlines. Plus my daughter would lose her spot if we took her out of school. So May is coming up and nothing has been mentioned about school opening, just that they have been meeting and will see what the cdc says and such. The first thing mentioned is that the tuition we pay holds our child's spot, which does not seem right since we are not, in my mind getting what we are paying for. They have mentioned if families need help with paying, please let them know, but I feel thats not it at all, and does not make sense considering what we all are going through.  What are your thoughts?

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    Tilly Fousie
    Carrollton TX
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  • 2.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 29 days ago
    Good morning, I'm a licensed childcare and I understand what you are saying. Childcare is kind of tricky when it comes to payments and securing your spot. I know for my childcare program, I am only open for Essential Employees and the State of Maryland is paying the parents childcare bill. The parents who are not essential and are staying home with their children, I do not bill them. Everyone is different when it comes to childcare. But I do understand what you are saying. Do your State offer childcare assistance during this Corona Virus shut down.

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    Roseta Young
    Loving Land Daycare
    Capitol Hgts MD
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  • 3.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi.  I am a Preschool teacher at a non profit and have been away from work since late March when we closed our doors.  Our center has applied for and been approved for a CARES Act grant/loan to be able to continue to pay employees and operation costs without having to charge parents.  We understand that this is a difficult time and some people may be struggling to pay their own bills or possibly paying for childcare some where else.  Find out the cost to withdraw and reapply and if your center has a wait list to be put on.  Do you have access to other parent's emails/numbers to find out how many of you are feeling the same?  I understand the need for the center to keep revenue coming in.  Perhaps if they have not applied/received assistance the parents could help with a solution such as a partial payment for spot holding and a fundraiser for the school?  Good luck and God bless!

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    Shari Lind
    Preschool Teacher
    Cascade Christian Child Development Center
    Alto MI
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  • 4.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 28 days ago
    We just reopened last week but only to children whose parents are essential workers.  This was a mandate from the Governor in Texas that open childcare centers could only serve children of essential workers.  We have 27 children that have returned and those parents are paying tuition, however we are not charging the other families or collection tuition from those that are not attending because they are not essential workers.  We did get the PPP loan, but it only covers payroll for 8 weeks, some utilities and rent.  It does not cover our other operating expenses or payroll taxes.  Although we have payroll somewhat covered for the next weeks, only have 27 children will not be enough to sustain us after that.  Once the governor lifts the restrictions on who we can bring in, then we will start charging parents a 1/2 week rate to keep their spots.  The other delima we are facing is that due to the social distancing requirements, we will only be able to bring in a total of 62 kids, which is still less than 1/2 of what we would normally have.

    We have had several parents, especially those that are public school teachers, indicate that they don't want to pay at all since they will be home the rest of the school year, so we will not be holding their spots at all.

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 5.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hi Tilly,
    What you have summarized is the exact problem with the lack of federal and state funding support for child care.  It is something many of us in the field have been advocating for far too long.  The tricky part of the support that is being offered to help the financial burden happening in child care, is that it falls too short for many.  In a better system, all programs would have been subsidized by federal and state investments so that families don't have to pay and programs are guaranteed to stay open or reopen.  One thing that might be helpful is to approach your provider, and ask them if they are seeking assistance (unemployment for staff, small business loans, money coming from emergency Child Care Development Block Grant funds).  Each state is different in how they are helping programs.  The other piece is to advocate like crazy for more support for child care programs.  When parents support programs through advocacy, it is a lot more powerful.  I work at a program that is not charging parents and has sought what is available, but it still falls far short in supporting the re-opening of the business.  Child care is expensive to run.  Many are just looking for way to be open when this is all over.  Data has come out that many states could lose around 50% of their programs is something is not done to help fund child care.  I hope you can have good communication with your provider, and that maybe something could be worked out.

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    Heather Marden
    Board President, MaineAEYC
    Birchwood Day Nursery School
    Windham, Maine
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  • 6.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 28 days ago
    Let me start of by saying that I completely understand your position.   Many schools have a paragraph or statement in their handbook that says tuition is not reimbursed in the event of school closure and more than likely you signed something saying that you had received the handbook and agree to abide by the school's policies.  While we are in a new and unusual situation, I can understand that this is a hardship for some parents and you could no doubt use that money elsewhere right now. I understand that you feel like your child is not getting what he/she needs right now and you are stressed out with the combined difficulty of working from home and caring for your child. I can only hope the tuition you are paying is going towards paying those teachers who are providing an adequate amount of e-learning (for your child's age group), who would otherwise be unemployed.  I'm sorry you and your family is faced with this obstacle and hope it turns out for the best.

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    Mary Porter
    Lead Teacher
    Macfeat Laboratory School
    Rock Hill SC
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  • 7.  RE: Childcare center/school closed - Still paying

    Posted 28 days ago
    Good morning Tilly-

    First off, I completely understand and feel for you. It is a tricky time to be a stay at home parent, caregiver, employee, etc. all within a days work. I think in some ways remote learning puts an unjust expectation on parents in a time when parenting is already hard enough. Regardless, I would encourage you to talk with your school about a holding fee. My center is operating under an emergency license, so we are providing in school care, as well as remote learning. For families that are essential, they are able to pay full tuition and be in the school, everyone else pays a reduced tuition and receives remote learning. For families where remote learning is not working for them or there has been a financial shift, they are paying a holding fee to retain their spot. I know not all schools can do this, but for us it has been working out to keep those families enrolled, keep some revenue coming in, but ensure that families that are struggling feel supported by us. This might be an option to explore with your school!

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    [Elizabeth] [Nash]
    [Student Services Coordinator]
    [Endeavor Schools]
    [Portland] [OR]
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