Dear EEC Parents –
How we are already in mid-October! I wanted to give some updates.
FUN things first:
Wednesday, October 26th – PINK OUT! While we know the kiddoes don’t quite get the meaning, we have current and former staff that are survivors and in our hearts. We wear pink to honor their fight with breast cancer.
Friday, October 28th – we will be having a PHILLIES DAY! If you don’t have Phillies wear RED or BLUE.
Now the not so fun things...
We have been very lucky through the pandemic and now. We have retained most staff members, and even brought some back! There are childcare centers in the area that have had 70-100% staff turnover.
However, that does not mean that we are not short staffed. We are. We are in a much better position than many of our counterparts in early education. Many are facing closing classrooms, rolling closures, and continuous reduction in hours. We are hiring. However, this is a very time-consuming process. We will not reduce the quality of our staff just to make sure we have people. It is imperative to us to continue to meet high-quality health and safety standards.
The Office of Childcare Licensing significantly reduced the qualifications needed for staff to be left alone and primary care givers. We absolutely do not agree with those reductions. However, it does make staffing more challenging. Tuition increases have covered rising costs, increased wages, and skyrocketing health insurance premium costs. We still run-on razor thin margins.
The health and well-being of the teachers and staff directly correlate to the health and safety of your children. Many centers are resorting to increased work hours for teachers, and this just creates exhaustion and burn out. We will reduce daily hours, before relying on over-time. We feel a reduction in hours causes less impact on our families than if we had to close individual classrooms with little to no notice.
We know the inconvenience it causes when a child is sent home sick. We face it here too as many of us are parents as well. While your child’s health is important to me, the center cannot function without healthy teachers. The more lenient we get with allowing sick children to remain at school the greater risk we run in our teachers getting sick. This will lead to reduced hours. We only have so many substitutes! I want to avoid full classroom shutdowns, but I cannot do that if we don’t have your help. If your child has persistent symptoms of illness, please keep them home. If your child has a fever, they must remain home for the day of the fever + be fever free for 24 hours without medication. If we find out a family is knowingly medicating their child to reduce fever or does not report COVID or the FLU you will face an immediate 1 week suspension from care. The second offense is removal from the school. We are too small of a community, and we will not risk 140 people’s health and safety.
COVID-19 Protocol: If there is a positive case in your household, please isolate the positive case from the child at EEC. Upon day 5 from last exposure (day 0) and with no developing symptoms the child may be tested. If the child remains negative they may return to school on day 6. They must be tested at home each morning through day 10.
November schedule update!
Per the EEC calendar we are schedule to close November 16th at 12:30pm and be closed November 17th and 18th. While we are still sending a contingency of staff to the NAEYC national conference, personal schedules don’t allow everyone.
UPDATE: Wednesday, November 16th, Thursday, November 17th and Friday, November 18th. WE WILL NOW BE OPEN 8:30am-4:30pm November 16th and 17th. On Friday, November 18th we will be closing at 12:30pm. We will be using this for training for the staff who are not attending the conference. We do hope this is helpful, as I know November is a busy month.
Due to being short staffed we did have to postpone our fall conferences. We are looking to reschedule them in the coming weeks. However, any family that we feel we need to be in communication with over any behavioral or developmental concerns, we already are.
Reminder for December: We are closed December 23rd and 26th. December 27, 28, 29, 30 we will be open 8:30am-4:30pm.
We cannot emphasize enough, how much we appreciate your continued support, patience, and kind words. Thank you goes such a long way. It truly takes a village and we are so grateful that you are part of ours!