Help Save My Daughter's Daycare
Organized by: Kirsten Love
For those of you all that don’t know me, my name is Kirsten Love. And my daughter’s name is Emma. Emma is now 6 years old. Emma has been in the care of the most fantastic, selfless daycare providers since she was 3 months old. I don’t know what I would do without them. They have been there for Emma, when I couldn’t, since I am a single mother. While I worked and went to school, they potty trained her, taught her to walk, read, write and a host other things. What Emma learns at daycare continues to amaze me. Just the other day she came home speaking French and enlightening me on the plight of Australia’s “Lost Generation“ and why it’s important to help save the rain forest. Like I said, our daycare providers are wonderful.
Emma’s daycare providers provide a loving, family atmosphere, because, they are family. The daycare is operated by 3 generations of college educated women. Not only are they wonderful with Emma. They have operated the daycare for over 15 years. They have provided care for countless children. They normally cater to young, single mothers, and young families just starting out. They provided and continue to provide opportunities for the parents to receive an education and further our careers while not having to worry if our children are safe. I.E. A young father of 2 children in their care just graduated medical school this past spring. From what I understand he was allowed to speak at the graduation. During his speech, he thanked his wife, parents, friends, family and daycare providers. He told how they did everything in their power to take the load off of him and his wife while studying, and completing his often late night residency, not charging any extra fees. Even for over nights.
One of the kids who graduated from the daycare a number of years ago, just started college this week. While attending the daycare, she went through a rough time. She witnessed domestic violence, drug abuse, and eventually divorce in her home. She stared to show signs of aggression, withdrawal and depression. But our daycare providers stepped in and got her and her mother help. They worked with the child on a daily basis to show here she was loved and none of this was her fault. They even let the court appointed psychologist come into the daycare once a week to treat the child, since this is where she felt safest.
They try very hard to share and expose the children to new things. A few years ago they introduced urban gardening into their curriculum. At 3 years old, Emma and I were at the grocery store. She wouldn’t let me leave the produce isle until I let her pick out fresh basil, and fennel, but later decided against the basil because it didn’t look like it was from farm to table. Her words, not mine. I was absolutely astonished at how far advanced my child was. Speaking with the other parents, we all agreed that it was clear that they didn’t just sit the kids in front of the tv all day long as their children were advanced for their ages.
I can go on and on about how much they actually love and care for our children and their families. But if I did, this would be novel. They have provided years and years of selfless care. So much that they are in trouble. You see, the majority if not all of the children’s parents were clients of Action for Children Child Care Initiatives. Action for Children Child Care Initiatives is or should I say was a child care subsidy program. This allowed parents to go to school and work at lower paying jobs and Child Care Initiatives would pay the majority of the day care tuition and the parent(s) were responsible a smaller portion. I have heard stories from parents that didn’t have the portion of the tuition because of job loss, and our daycare providers either let them pay it late or not at all to help them get back on their feet.
I’m not here to debate politics or our elected officials choices. I am just close enough to the situation to see the impact. Bruce Rauner was elected the 42nd Governor of Illinois. And upon balancing the budget, he has decided to cut/cancel Child Care Initiatives. This has truly had an impact on the families at day care. They simply cannot afford to pay the full day care tuition. Which upon further research are almost the cheapest in the city. Our daycare providers being the super people that they are decided to just accept the subsidized fees where in most cases is $30 or less. Well, this has caught up with them. They are now 4 months almost 5 months behind on their mortgage and facing foreclosure. They are barely keeping the lights and gas on. They have pawned all of the jewelry they owned. They have even attempted to make money driving for a very well know ride sharing app. But since this company has flooded the market with drivers, it has not been profitable. $120 per week is not enough to pay a $1200/ month mortgage, feed their family and keep the daycare operational at a tremendous loss. One of the providers decided to drive a cab at night but after having to call the police twice in 3 weeks because of violent sexual advances and threats. We all decided that this was no longer safe. They have tried getting hired at other places but this interferes with the time the children need care. Can you imagine having a job one day and not one the next with no means of unemployment insurance?
Google “Bruce Rauner Child Care”
This is why I am asking for your help.
This family who has served the community through their licensed daycare for 15 years needs help. Several families need your help. School has started for the children and their parents need our daycare providers to care for, drop off and pick up at school so they can continue their education and work. But our daycare cannot continue to function this way. They made the announcement that they will be closing in a few weeks because of the circumstances. None of the parents or providers want this to happen or place their children in the care of another daycare because, one, they can’t afford it and two, it is very hard to find such caring people. To know that your child is in capable hands is priceless when you are trying to work or concentrate in school. The only other option for most is to drop out of school and quit their job and apply for public assistance so they can care for their own children. None of the parents want that. They want to work and educate themselves. And we all know what happens when there is lack of education and employment. The crime rate increases.
We are asking to help raise $250,000 for our daycare providers.
Here is what the money will be used for.
$150,000 will be used to pay off the mortgage.
$25,000 will be used to make the much needed repairs on the daycare.
$75,000 will be used to keep the daycare open tuition free for the next 3-5 years, keep the current children and maybe 1 or 2 new ones. This includes serving 3 well balanced meals, 3 snacks, field trips, lights, gas, and whatever else the daycare needs. It will also be used the support our providers since they will not have an income.
We are not trying to give the daycare an Extreme Home Makeover experience. We are just trying to get some much needed repairs done around the daycare. A few years ago, our providers had some work done in the back yard. A tree that the kids absolutely love grew roots so long and strong that it punctured the pipe underground and stopped up the toilets and cause water to seep into the basement of the daycare. They had it fixed but, just late last year they noticed the inferior concrete the contractor used started cracking and falling apart. Not only that, but the same water seepage started happening again. Causing moisture in the air and making the posters on the wall curl up. It is also causing white mold to form in between the tiles on the floor. Obviously, this is not healthy. So they children are not allowed in that part of the daycare anymore. And it cleaned with bleach every day. But this cannot continue. The deck in which the children garden on is falling apart. The catch basin cracked and now it’s covered with wooded boards so no one will fall in. A squirrel decided to make a hole for a home. For one of the latest field trips, they took the children fishing. They noticed that the 2 SUVs used to transport the children need brakes. So for everyone’s safety the field trips have been called off. Normally these issues would have been fixed immediately. But since they are only collecting about $30 per child, per week, these issues have been understandably neglected.
If you only donate a few dollars, every bit helps. But if you can donate more, please do so. But please, no matter what, share this link with friends, coworkers, twitter, Facebook and everywhere you can. We all need your help FAST. Thank you in advance.
Please Note: I did not mention names, redacted info, edited pictures for the children’s safety.