I know we are going through a very uncertain time right now, and I want to reassure you that Kids For Kids Academy is doing everything possible to be there for families who need us. Although the state has issued a closure order for Public Schools, our school is being directed by the Department of Children and Families, The Department of Health, and the Governor’s Office to adhere to specific health-related guidelines, and to remain open, if at all possible. This is being done, as there is a need for employees in essential fields, like police, fire, medical fields and now even those who work in food stores, to remain at work to serve the community.
We will continue to remain open unless we are directed to close in order to serve those families working as essential employees to the community, as well as parents working from home that cannot possibly work with children at home. We are being as supportive as we can with regard to assisting families who choose not to send their children to our center. Although your payment agreement states that, “even in the event of a hurricane or closure, weekly tuition is still billed”, in light of this National Emergency we will be amending that policy until public school resumes.
That said, families who are on the annual contract who did not send their child this week, as you are entitled to two weeks of summer vacation, we will use one week of your summer vacation weeks and credit that week to your account. Families who were credited this week by using one week of summer vacation you will have one week left to use over the summer.
Families who are on a 42 week contract were billed for this week as there was no requirement for your child to attend during the summer, so no summer credit could be given. After this week however, we will stop billing those families as well. Families on the 42 week contract who did not attend this week, if your child was enrolled in Afterschool Care or Extended Day, those charges have been credited back to your account. If you are on auto-debit, and it was drafted, we cannot put it back, but a credit will be given for the week you return.
I hope that you understand, in order to have a school to come back to when this is all over, we must cover our fixed expenses and pay our staff, who give love and care to your child every day. The governor has asked that the school year be extended until June 30th, so your new contract will be extended through then, as VPK and Step Up scholarships are recognizing June 30thas the new school end date. Once Public school is back in session, we will continue to abide by your original signed fee agreement of attending and paying on a weekly basis.
Until Public school resumes, we will no longer be billing families unless they are in attendance. That means the weekly tuition draft will not come out of your account on Monday if you are on auto-debit. I have printed a signup calendar that is at the front desk. Families who are currently attending this week, you are asked to initial next week if you are attending or write not attending if you know you will not be sending your child. Families who are not here are asked to fill out the form below or call the school to let us know if you will be attending on a week to week basis. (If you already told us that your child would be out next week, no need to call or reply).
I understand that this is a very difficult time for everyone, children are confused and parents are stressed. Families are out of work and everyone is feeling the effects of this crisis. Please also understand that you have relied on Kids For Kids Academy to be a safe and loving place for your child, and we too are affected. Some of our costs are fixed costs will not change if families do not attend or pay. We are seeking ways to keep our staff employed as they depend on us too.
This week we were operating at close to 50% attendance. That tells us that families still need our services. We are doing our best to limit group sizes to 10 or less and taking every precaution to make sure that CDC guidelines are being followed; the health and well-being of our staff and students is our #1 priority. Please consider how 50% or less attendance if effecting our staff and our ability to keep them employed.
I am asking that once our government officials and health officials consider is safe to return to normal activity (perhaps after the “15 day period”), if you are getting paid to work at home, please consider sending your child back to Kids For Kids. Should you wish to only send your child for a half-day, we will bill you to meet your needs. Any attendance is better for our school than no attendance at all. Not only will this provide a sense of normalcy for your child, but it will help our school to not go out of business like so many will, and remain a place to call home for your family after this crisis.
We are following all measures to get our staff paid grants, loans, and legislation that is in the works, but we all know those things could take time. Until Public school is back in session, we will need to change our operating hours to 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. We are unable to be open for early drop-off or late pick-up. I am hoping that those of you who still commuting, your employers will understand.
If you know of any friends or family members who are “essential” employees or those working from home that need childcare, please pass on the word that we are open and willing to serve all members of the community during this time of crisis for drop-in care. For those families only joining us for this short time, we will waive all fees and charge them on a week to week basis. All attendees will be properly screened and will need up to date health forms.
Please also note to keep our center as healthy as possible, we ask that only 1 person accompany your child to the classroom. Siblings are asked to wait on the front couch. Anyone who enters will need to sign a waiver verifying that they have not been exposed to any of the risk factors. They will be asked each time they enter for everyone’s safety. We also ask that parents not linger in the rooms and appreciate your assistance in washing your child’s hands at drop off. We have been advised that hand sanitizer can be used on children over the age of 2 so if you sanitize your child’s hands prior to entering the class, please let the teacher know that you have done so.
We will no longer be sending the weekly class letters, although lesson planning and instruction continue here for those who are attending. Our K-5 program will provide 3 hours a day of computer-assisted and hands-on instruction that is not specific to our curriculum so those kids not attending school will not fall behind. I will be posting daily educational for families on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!!
Please remember that Kids For Kids Academy remains committed to all of you. I hope that all of our families stay safe and healthy during this time of crisis.
Wishing you well,
Beth Rosenthal Davis, Ed.S, NBCT