I am the owner and director of the Children's Cottage Preschool in Eureka. We work with families who receive subsidy and families who pay privately. All families have been hurt by the budget crisis and the financial situation in our country in general. Our parent co-pay for subsidy families is similar to that of the Arcata Children's Center quoted in the article, about $120 per month. During this recent budget crisis and the past years economic hardship in our community, we have had to do some serious thinking about how to make ends meet both for families and for our center. We have creatively offered options for families who cannot afford the co-pay or for private pay families who have lost their jobs or had hours cut. Some parents are able to take on volunteer hours in the classroom, others are able to offer other services to the school. We have a parent who does our maintainance, another who recently began to do our plumbing. Some self employed parents can offer myself or our staff services or goods in exchange for childcare. Photography services, handmade clothing accessories, one mother worked for a Chiropractor who offered to pay her daughter's tuition with Chiropractic care for myself and teachers.
While the bartering has been a really neat experience, we very strongly feel the urgency of our county's need for more money in quality childcare.
WIth so many families in need, and so few spaces for children in quality centers and home daycares, the situation seems bleak. It frightens us to hear about so many good home daycares closing, and licensing of new centers and daycares being suspended until further notice.
These first few years in our children's lives are so crucial, and I deeply hope that with more understanding of the issues at stake, our community can find ways to support the centers and daycares already in place and also put some pressure on our government to support quality childcare!
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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