An open letter to Milton families from local preschool and childcare programs
The directors and owners of many of the preschool and childcare programs in Milton want to remind everyone that we are still here for Milton’s families, and we will continue to be here after the COVID-19 emergency subsides. We realize, obviously, that this is a difficult time for families, and I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s a difficult time for programs as well.
Milton is blessed with many wonderful early childhood programs, most of which are small operations, and most of which have been in Milton for many years. During these unprecedented times, nearly all small businesses are struggling too. Normally, all of these programs are filled to capacity, and all have built traditions and provided dependable, high quality services that only time and dedication can create. As we all wade through the uncertainties of the pandemic, think of what a loss it would be for the community if some – or many – of these fine programs were to disappear from the town.
All these programs are woven into the fabric of Milton. They are the first schools most Milton children attend, and, regardless of which program your particular family joined, or plans on joining, doubtless you feel as it attending that program is part of your family’s own tradition. Milton is doubly blessed because nearly all its early childhood programs are individual operations, rather than large, national chains. They are small non-profits and sole proprietorships set up by parents and professionals with the goal of providing a high quality experience for children and families while doing what they love. Milton has a lot of really great programs. Each one is unique and different, with its own philosophy and flavor, but they are all great. In Milton every family can find the program that fits them just right.
All Milton early childhood programs had to shut down completely in March. One reopened to provide emergency care for essential workers during the shutdown. Six programs reopened as soon as the mandated closure order was lifted, and most others plan on re-opening in the fall. Just like families, each program handled the situation as best it could – trying to do what was best for its families, employees, and the community. In the end, we are all in the same boat, with almost too many uncertainties to get a handle on, but we are responding to the challenge! we are all working towards the same goal – safe, quality early childhood programming.
We are all anxious to have families enrolled and children back in our classrooms and yards! We know that families have different comfort levels and many competing considerations, just like we do ourselves. As program directors, we take the current situation – and all the additional health and safety requirements – very seriously, and we are doing our best to provide a safe and appropriate early childhood experience for everyone. We want to remind families that we are all here working hard for you and the community, just like always.
We don’t know any better than anyone else what the future holds, but we know this: we are enrolling children and want to provide a “normal” – even exceptional – early childhood experience for them. We know we want to keep operating, and we know we want to keep our wonderful teachers. We also know that we might have to shut down again if orderd to, and that we might have to send children or staff home for quarantine. That’s the unavoidable reality. Have no doubt, however, we have been preparing our classrooms, doing our homework, and training our staff to keep our programs, families, and children safe. We are here, we are ready, and we can’t wait to have you and your children back with us again.
Chris Lenane, Adams Street Early Learning Center
Ann Pike Cambell, The Campbell School
Maura Foley and Joseph McCarthy, Carriage House School
Donna Larson, Carriage House Harvard Campus
Nancy McCarthy, Carriage House Nursery
Erica Pierce, Curry Early Childhood Center
Brian C. Scheff, Discovery Schoolhouse
Mary E. Sullivan, Sunshine School
Laurie Coughlin, Village School