I would like to update you on a recent change to our Weekday Ministry Program in response to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.
Our Weekday Ministry consists of three programs:
• Mother’s Morning Out (1 and 2 yr. old’s)
• Wkday Preschool (3 and 4 yr. old’s)
• After-School Care Program (K-5th grade)
Like all childcare centers across the nation, COVID-19 has caused a significant increase in costs, particularly the need for more staff to allow for smaller groups. Most childcare centers have also seen a dramatic decrease in enrollment among school aged children as families have opted for virtual school, hybrid programs, or homeschooling during the pandemic.
After reopening this fall, our After-School Program has not returned to the enrollment levels needed to sustain itself financially. After surveying the other childcare centers in the community, all of which also had lower enrollment in their After-School Programs, it was determined that the supply of open spots far exceeds the current need in our community. As a result, the Weekday Advisory Board approved the decision to close our After-School Care Program with no immediate plans to reopen.
At the same time, there is a growing need to expand the capacity of our Mother’s Morning Out Program and extend the operating hours of our Preschool. These programs have returned to healthy enrollment levels and we feel that we can support more families looking for care for their young children.
Closing the After-School Care program, while disappointing, does allow us to immediately refocus our attention on expanding the other two programs of the Weekday Ministry. We also would hope to reopen the After-School Program as the community need for such care rises in the future.
I want to commend our director, Jamie Steadman, and her staff, who have worked under enormous challenges, all while keeping our children safe and happy.
I invite you to continue in prayer for all our schools, childcare centers, teachers and staff who are on the front lines of educating our children in these unprecedented times.
Grace and Peace,