May 31st, 2020
It is becoming more and more clear, that the effects of the pandemic are going to have far reaching and lasting effects on the early childhood industry. New regulations put forth by the CDC and The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), our licensing authority, while important for maintaining the health and safety of staff and students, do impose an unforeseen, additional financial burden, as well as hinder the free-play and discovery learning process. Some of the proposals include daily temperature checks for all staff and students, wearing of masks by students over age 3.0, no sharing of toys, seating children 6 feet apart and minimizing physical interactions, ratios of 10 students to 1 teacher with no mixing of students/classes—which is impossible for extended day options and no licensing for infant and possibly even toddler care. Sadly, the regulation proposals take a very clinical stance, with no regard for child development. It appears to me that small group care or nannies are being encouraged. The pandemic struck while we were in the midst of our 2020 enrollment campaign and stagnated that effort. The new regulation requirements, the possibilities of future quarantines and the fear of the virus itself are affecting parents’ decisions to enroll their children in group care.
With all of this in mind, it is with an extremely heavy heart that I say that The Westboro Learning Center as we know it, will not be re-opening. When we began this journey, we had in place a three-year plan for growing our business. We were just on the cusp of year three and we were moving in the right direction, but financially we cannot move forward with all the ramifications brought about by Covid-19.
After some careful research, planning and practice with my TK class the past few months, I am pleased to say that I would like to re-launch The Westboro Learning Center in a new format for the 2020-2021 academic year. There is going to be a new normal, and we need to “think outside the box” of how to best support our children’s development within a safe, friendly and stable environment. If there is enough interest, I would like to move The Westboro Learning Center into a virtual format for a home-school partnership. I would personally run a mixed preschool class and the transitional kindergarten class through daily Zoom meetings, lessons and activities posted on the Seesaw learning app and a weekly pick-up of craft materials and hands-on materials that I would then sanitize when returned. If possible, we would also try to do small group meet-ups, should it be feasible within the current phase of social distancing.
If you are interested in learning more about a WLC homeschool partnership, please let me know ASAP and I will forward you an overview of the program components, sample plans and schedules, a curriculum outline and tuition costs. I am excited about this new program, and who knows what this venture may bring—a tie-over to WLC re-opening next year in a new location or a new virtual school serving more and more grades as we grow!
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for supporting The Westboro Learning Center and for sharing in our community.
Stay safe and be well,