Letter to Families from Becky & Jessie

Hi Families!!!

A shout out to all of you who practiced social distancing last week to keep our most vulnerable community members safe. THANK YOU! To those families who have members who work in health care, research, or provide vital services within our community and reported to work during this unprecedented time, thank you too.

Our teachers at LCLA rocked week 1 of this! They moved right through all the changes we needed to make to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible. Week 2 has begun with more changes. They are adapting to those as well in a way that can only be done by a high functioning, hard-working, team.

As you know, Governor Evers has issued a “Safer At Home” order that will begin tomorrow. All businesses, outside of essential ones, will be closed for the foreseeable future. Little Chicks Learning Academy is exempt from the Governor’s order because we serve so many essential employees of both the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

We are asked to ONLY provide care for essential employees at this time. At this time, our numbers have been so low that we are closing the center at 601 N. Whitney Way and keeping open 5003 University Ave. If numbers dictate we should re-open the other space, we will. We plan to accommodate as many children as possible while still maintaining strict infection control practices.

Many of you have questions about what happens to your tuition payments at this time. Larger centers are putting out firm policies on tuition withdrawals and what payments are due and what aren’t. We are so sorry to say, we can’t provide that firm answer for you.

No one could have predicted this pandemic. We certainly didn’t plan for this. When we opened LCLA we wanted it to be a small community, where every teacher knew every family. We never wanted to become a large, corporate center. That means we need to operate a little differently now, like a family. We need to take care of each other.

If you had UW funding, that is all being processed. If you find yourself unable to pay your co-pay for that funding, please reach out to the UW Office of Child Care and Family Resources. For those families still being paid, I am asking you to continue to pay your tuition so we can continue to guarantee your space within the centers. If your family has lost its income, please contact me at bketarkus@gmail.com. We can discuss pausing your contract. We can also discuss ending your contract. Please know that you will still need to provide notice per your contract, security deposits will be forfeited, and we can’t guarantee you a space in the future if we are fortunate enough to have the means to re-open.

We have not had to lay off any staff at this time. Becky is working on every avenue to continue having all our beloved teachers continue their employment so that all their benefits stay in place during this uncertain time. She wants to take care of them so that they can return to your children as soon as all of this becomes history. She has reached out to the UW for emergency funding. She is working with state officials to pair us with first responders who need care. She has an emergency loan to cover the loss of income during this time. We are exploring all options.

We ask you to contact us if you are struggling right now. If your income is secure and you are safe, we ask you to help us take care of our teachers.

Thank you for your understanding,

Becky and Jessie