LCLA Closing & ACH Reminders

Good morning,

Just a reminder we will be closed Thursday, September 3rd – Monday, September 7th. Although we technically did a transition already we are taking Thursday, September 3rd to deep clean and create better classroom environments for our mixed age groups.

Welcome packets were sent out and in the packet were ACH forms that need to be returned by Friday, August 28th – preferably by Friday morning. The packet did state that I will need this for all families. “Please submit a new ACH form, even if you have filled one out before. This is your opportunity to sign up to receive receipts and change any information as needed. All families, new or returning will need to return this form.”

Please call or email me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Amanda Wilfert

Online Enrollment – All Families

Hi everyone,

We have made it through our first week and half of transitioning to mixed age groups. I cannot express enough the appreciation I have to you, the families, as well as the staff. This was not easy on any of us, but together we truly worked as a family and were there for each other.

I am back to focusing on the online enrollment. If you have not already filled out your online enrollment please do so as soon as possible. In June I sent out an invite for you to fill out your online enrollment. The subject line may be Online Enrollment Invitation and coming from Little Chicks Learning Academy.

I also attached our normal licensing paperwork. At this time we still need that paperwork as well. Unfortunately; I accidentally sent the Child Health Report twice. Here is the Health History and Emergency Care Plan – https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/files/forms/pdf/2345.pdf

Attached are instructions on how to fill out the licensing paperwork and how to upload it. We really appreciate your collaboration as we switch to this online enrollment system.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Amanda Wilfert

Transitioning Updates

Dear families,

First I wanted to say thank you for all of your feedback and concerns. All the survey answers, emails and phone calls have helped us decide to move forward with transitioning to new classrooms on Monday, July 27th. I had many phone conversations and emails yesterday that helped me see some concerns I did not notice at first and it helped me create the classroom arrangements that I have set now.

For the most part I tried to keep as many friends together with their teachers that I could or kept friends together that will move in with new teachers. In the next day or two your current teachers will let you know what classroom your child will be in. 

Alyssa, our current preschool teacher, will be moving into a role that will help staff create age appropriate classrooms and curriculums for the mixed age groups. 

I appreciate that you all realized that this was not an easy decision, and by working together we were able to make a great plan of action. 

As always please feel free to email or call me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Amanda Wilfert
LCLA Director

Possible LCLA Changes

Dear Staff and Families of LCLA,

I’m coming to you again with more information about COVID-19 and some possible changes we are considering to lower risk of spread of the virus within the centers.  

Today the Madison Metropolitan School District announced that all learning within the district will occur virtually through, at least, October.  Becky, one of LCLA’s owners, is a School Nurse in the district, working this summer in a direct role to support families impacted by COVID-19.  She is learning a lot from school district summer child care offerings and from the daily Public Health updates she receives. Amanda, our Center Director, has been networking closely with other child care centers to make sure our policies are in line with theirs.  

As we learn more about COVID-19 and patterns of transmission we have some changes we are considering to move us toward a true “pod approach” for our classrooms. We are keeping your child and our staff’s exposure risk small. We would like to make it even smaller.

We are considering making the following changes: 

*Siblings would be in the same classroom, thus shifting our classrooms to mix-aged groups and eliminating our current looping system.

*Staff with children would be in the same classroom together.

*Staff who live together would become co-teachers in a classroom. 

These changes would mean:

*Your child would most likely be moved to a different classroom with different staff and children.

*Your child will now be in a mixed age classroom.

*This change would remain in effect until LCLA deems it safe to return to our original looping and non-traditional system. At that time, LCLA would consider child development and staffing needs to recreate looping groups.

We are considering this change because our focus needs to be the safety of our families and staff, but we know that we are asking you to make yet another sacrifice that will have an impact on your child’s social-emotional development. LCLA is committed to making this change using trauma sensitive practices for the transitions, and with the support of an Instructional Coach/Teacher Mentor who will work with all our staff to help implement a curriculum that will continue to create academic and social-emotional growth in a mixed age setting. 

HERE is a link to our survey where we are asking for your input on these changes. We ask that you return the survey by the end of the day on Monday, July 20th.  

Thank you! 

Becky Ketarkus and Jessie Pindilli,
LCLA Owners

Amanda Wilfert
LCLA Director

Mask Mandate

Hi LCLA Families! 

As you likely already heard, beginning Monday, July 13th, Public Health of Madison and Dane County has issued a mandate that all people over the age of 5 years old wear a face covering when they are, or even might, come into close contact with someoneoutside of their family unit.  

For the teachers and staff at LCLA, this doesn’t change a whole lot of how we have been operating. We mandated masks for staff as soon as we saw COVID-19 numbers in Dane County begin to surge again.

We have been encouraging adults who are dropping off or picking up outside the building to mask up. Per Public Health, this will now become a requirement. To enter the building, adults have always been required to mask up, this policy will continue. 

Any child we are serving who is over the age of 5 years old will now be required to wear a mask at LCLA. Being that we have a mixed age Preschool Room, we know this will be challenging.  Some children may be wearing masks while others aren’t.  We do serve a small number of children who have turned 5 years old, or will turn 5 years old sometime over the summer. If this is the case, we will do our best to help your child get used to wearing a mask inside the building. We will do this slowly, and with compassion for what is developmentally appropriate and what is trauma sensitive at this moment in time.  

No child under the age of 2 years old should ever wear a mask. Children this age can’t regulate their breathing enough to make this a safe choice for them. For children between the ages of 2 years to 5 years old, we are leaving it to you, the adult(s) in the child’s home, to decide what you would like to do. We will not, at this time, require a child of this age to wear a face covering at school. 

Until a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed and administered community wide, face coverings are probably going to be a way of life for the foreseeable future. As always, as part of your child’s network of support, the teachers at LCLA want to do what we can to support your family and your child. We do recommend you start introducing your child to the idea of wearing a face covering. If you are doing this at home, we are happy to reinforce this teaching at school too. You can put the face covering on and take a walk through your neighborhood just for practice. You can have your child help you put your face covering on before exiting your car to come to LCLA. There are a lot of ways to slowly introduce children to concept of wearing face coverings in a way that still creates felt safety for your child. If you need more ideas, please ask your child’s teacher and they are happy to help with a plan for this.  

Thank you!

Becky
Administrator
Little Chicks Learning Academy

Updates from Becky

Hi Families! 

I’m writing to let you know about some changes that we need to make at Little Chicks in regard to our COVID-19 Guidelines. We will now be requiring all of our staff to wear either a mask or face shield when they have a “close contact” with a child in the center or a co-worker.  This is defined as when a staff member is within 6 feet of a child.  As you can imagine, that is nearly all day.  This change is due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Dane County.  

As you may know, I am a School Nurse for the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and I’m following their guidelines closely. This summer MMSD began holding on-site school age child care. I am also helping to care for kids in that program. As of last week, MMSD is now requiring masks for their staff. We want to be consistent with their policies. We have a social story HERE to share with your young child about wearing a mask. You can print it and create a book, or you can read it to them to talk to them about mask wearing. If your child is old enough to understand this change, we would love for you to discuss it with them at home too.

We are also asking that any adult dropping off or picking up a child, whether entering the building or not, wear a mask. This helps us keep our teachers safe and healthy.  If anyone in your household has any symptoms of COVID-19, we will ask that you stay home for at least 72 hours while you monitor symptoms and re-assess, or until you receive results of a COVIS-19 test. 

We’re all in this together, and we’re all taking care of each other, 

Becky