Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wondering about Before/After Care?

If your children attend the before-care or after-care programs run by the Y at some of our schools (as my children did for 6 years at Somerville), then you've probably heard the rumor that "the BOE wants to close the aftercare program." Before you panic that your childcare may disappear for next Fall, please don't worry! Here are the facts:

As you know, we have a budget problem for 09/10 (and beyond). To close the budget gap, we basically have two options: cut expenses and/or increase revenues. That's how all of our budgets work, right? So we've done a lot to cut spending (perhaps you've heard haha). But what options do we have for increasing revenue? Not many. We only get revenue from a few sources: the state, taxes, tuitions, the community school, activity fees. We have an obligation to look for income anywhere we can -- to help offset cuts and also to help keep our tax increase as low as possible. In an attempt to increase revenues, we decided to LOOK AT the POSSIBILITY of running the before and after care program ourselves. To generate income.

By the way, the Y currently runs the before care and after care programs in our buildings and pays no rent to the District.

Next week the BOE finance committee will look at a plan for a District-run before/aftercare program. And they'll look at a new plan from the Y. And then a recommendation will be made to the BOE, and we'll have to decide. It might change. It might stay the same. But shouldn't we at least check it out thoroughly?

I can tell you that the intention is for the service provided to parents/children to not change. We do not want to disrupt anyone's plans or cause a hardship to parents. The plan would be to basically "replicate" the current program: same hours, same locations (if not more), same price, same activities, same coverage on school holidays, same homework time, snacks, outside playtime, etc., etc.

Maybe someone could pass this info along to counter the rumors that we are "taking away" families' childcare? Because that is not the plan.

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