Childcare Sprouting Up in Burlington

Representative of the Childcare Steering Committee

Representatives of the Childcare Steering Committee

Four teachers, representing a larger group, presented a childcare initiative to the school committee at last night’s meeting.  The presentation was impressive and the benefits to the school system are significant. 

Several of our surrounding communities offer childcare as an employee benefit.  As our demographics shift and we get younger as an organization, a quality childcare facility will help us to recruit top candidates and retain our current faculty and staff.

As discussed in the presentation, after an initial investment to renovate existing space into an appropriate facility, the childcare program will be self funded.  In other words, like our food service program and after school program, the childcare benefit will not impact our operational budget.

In addition to being a forward-thinking idea, the faculty led childcare initiative is indicative of distributed leadership – a critical characteristic  of a healthy and effective organization.  Ideas, innovations, and improvements originate and are valued from all levels and perspectives in any world class organization. 

Thank you to the teachers for committing their time to present an idea that will make us more effective.  Special thanks to the steering committee members Amy Doughty, Christina Chang, Liz Marchetti, Leisel Smith, Barbara Sturtevant, Gloria Wojtaszek, Cath Estep, and Craig Robinson.

Sprouts Childcare School Committee Presentation

16 thoughts on “Childcare Sprouting Up in Burlington

  1. BHS Employee

    You mention that beyond the initial investment there is no cost, but in this economy I’m interested in the initial investment. Is there a ballpark number?

  2. Steve Tremblay

    Good presentation….thanks so much for sharing.

    With the number of child care centers in Burlington, is the committee exploring discounted rates with them as an alternative to capital investment? Given the current enrollment numbers, I’m sure some of them would love to have that discussion.

  3. Tax Payer

    There are 3 dayscares already established in the town of Burlington that work with teacher’s children only…Almost seems like reinventing the wheel (at the taxpayers cost)…..

  4. BHS Employee

    As a town employee (and proud parent), I’d rather see the money go towards keeping our faculty, getting much needed textbooks, and/or additional educational tools.

  5. BHS employee

    Two points. As mentioned previously there are three day cares in Burlington dedicated to teh students of teachers. Second after looking at the proposal carefully which was well done the cost numbers do not add up. You need max enrollment at all times to keep from using tax dollars to subsidize. Stastics mt the Commonwealth of Massachusetts reveal that average day care inrollment is well below capacity. Additionally money would have to come from tax payers to build out the space needed to have the facicilty.

    Wouldnt spedning money of our computer inferstructure be a better way to spend dollars instead of a daycare center that will only benefit the few or keep money in reserve in the event that there is a need for some contraction in the schools due to the current economic climate.

  6. K

    It has come to the attention of parents that send their kids to the afterschool program at Francis Wyman that that programs rainy day fund will be used to help pay for the build out of the new daycare center. We do not feel that this is a fair use of OUR money. Cost for after care have risen every year and we were told that the money put aside would be used from immporvements, projucts etc. for the afterschool program. How is it fair to take money from our kids to subsidize a program for other kids that does not benefit us in any way.

  7. Patrick Larkin

    I applaud the efforts of the BHS staff to initiate this wonderful resource which will allow us to be competitive with other area towns in attracting and retaining the best candidates to join our fine staff.

    I trust our Central Office and the School Committe to ensure that our resources are being invested wisely and I know that they would not entertain this type of proposal without having short and long-term questions regarding the financial impact of this program to be clearly articulated.

  8. also a BHS employee

    I would like to applaud the efforts of the BHS staff members for their work. From watching the presentation, I can see that a large amount of work went into this proposal. This daycare facility would provide a great recruiting tool for new teachers and there is a good chance that this facility will keep our teachers in the classroom and less likely to take years off forcing a permanent sub to take over classrooms long term. Just to clarify the daycares in town that cater to teachers’ children are homebased centers, this is not an option that all parents are comfortable with.
    To quickly address the decreasing enrollments at daycare facilities in massachusetts- this is for employees, if there is a a change in a family employment status, and a child had to withdraw, I am confident that another family would be eagerly waiting to fill an empty spot. At the proposed cost it is more than affordable for most families, including single income families. From what I understand it is approximately half the cost of other local daycare centers.
    Employees are more productive when they feel their family(especially their children) is well taken care of- imagine what could be going on in the classrooms next year when children are in good care and so close by.

  9. BHS Staff

    It’s nice to see the Burlington Public Schools adding these types of 21st Century resources for employees. Another reason that this community is so great to work in.

    I am sure that this new program will not be added without careful consideration given to the impact on other programs in BPS.

  10. Town Employee

    The presentation was great, if you like sugar coated material.

    The program would be “making” $13,000 per year (AFTER depleting the taxpayers dollars for the demolition, and all materials)….It would make $13,00 if ALL the slots were filled…What happens if only 20 spots filled…You’d be in the red (NEGATIVE numbers)….Then what?

    I don’t think people object that its a great IDEA, but not every great idea should be executed. I think it would be a great idea to put smartboards in every class, to decrease class sizes, to plow the parking lot better…the list could go on and on…..

    Bottom line- HUGE EXPENSE with MINIMAL people benefiting…

  11. Louise K.

    Pouring money into something that has zero to do with the students or the town is not the right thing to be doing….

    I bet if all of this went public, and the people who actually live in this community got to vote, it would never pass. Nor should it.

  12. BHS Employee

    Hi Eric,

    I was the first to comment on this BLOG post, and asked a few questions related to the finances of the daycare. I thought you said you would be addressing them in in up coming weeks, but I haven’t seen anything. I sure you’ve had bigger fish to fry, but I wanted to follow up.

    Basically I’m wondering, what are the expected total start-up costs (construction, tables, chairs, books, toys, ost pack n plays, exersaucers, etc…)?
    Also, were these costs included in the budget for FY10 that you proposed?

    BHS Employee

    PS: Since the post is basically archived, feel free to email me directly…

    1. burlingtonps Post author

      I have not had more information to share. We are getting bids on the rennovation needed to prepare the space as a daycare. It looks like these costs will be around $100,000. I will know more firmly in the next week or so. After receiving estimates, the next step is identifying the source of the funding. These dollars are not operation dollars. In other words, fixing up the space does not cost the district positions or salary in subsequent years. Once the source of funding for the construction and initial outfitting is determined, then we will present the one-time costs and the source of the funding to school committee for their consideration. Like food services, the program is going to be self-funding in regards to operation.

  13. Pingback: Article 32: Child Care Facility « Superintendent’s Blog

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