Date: April 1, 2020
Subject: UPDATED TEMPORARY SCHOOL CLOSURE DURING CURRENT HEALTH EMERGENCY
To: All Parents and Sprouting Star Familes
In accordance with the recent announcements by Governor Abbott and subsequently the local school districts extending school closures until May 4th, Sprouting Star plans to remain closed at least until April 27, 2020. We will evaluate the situation and make a determination if we can open safely at that time.
The safety of the children and staff are our first priority. It is our Sprouting Star Promise to provide a safe environment for the kids. We take that responsibility very seriously. While it is a severe hardship for all of us, government currently estimates a high likelihood that the next few weeks could see very serious illnesses. It is our sincere desire to do our part to protect the children, you and the community. And that seems to require we remain closed for the next few weeks while this passes.
While some centers may try to stay open, the current Travis County Stay Home Work Safe orders permit childcare operations to serve ONLY children of essential services staff. The following is an excerpt from a recent communication from Austin Public Health:
“Child care centers and homes are only permitted to provide care to children of exempted individuals under the City/County Order. Please note, this control order is from Austin-Travis County and is not related to Child Care Regulation (Licensing). However, according to Child Care Regulation, child care providers may enroll new children to provide care for exempted individuals.”
Our staff has been reaching out to you, our families, to determine how many of you would qualify under this rule. At present, we have not received sufficient response to justify a limited re-opening for this purpose at this time. If you have not done so already, we encourage you to complete the survey at the link below. Or if your situation has change and you believe you would qualify, you may retake the survey or contact us at the center between 9am and 3pm. We will be continually evaluating this information to determine if a limited reopening is possible. So please do communicate what you need.
REMEMBER – Effective March 1, 2020, children in the Workforce CCS Program may accrue absences without impacting ongoing eligibility for services or provider reimbursements. YOUR REFERRAL WILL REMAIN ACTIVE AND ABSENCES DUE TO COVID-19 EMERGENCY DO NOT AFFECT YOUR CARE ELIGIBILITY!
In the meantime, we hope you are enjoying the Sprouting Star Preschool@Home lessons and Storytime videos our staff has been preparing for your children. We plan to continue this program and roll out new ways to support and stay connected to you and your children at this difficult time.
Lessons can be found at: https://sproutingstar.org/2020/03/24/preschool-at-home/
Storytime videos can be found at: https://sproutingstar.org/2020/03/30/storytime/
We regret the situation and our hearts go out to those who have contracted this terrible disease and we mourn the thousands who have already passed. We hope that you and your entire family stay safe, and we look forward to reopening the school as soon as possible. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
President, Sprouting Star Children’s Academy