Dear Gretchen’s House Families and Staff,

After careful consideration, we have decided to close all Gretchen’s House centers, effective Monday, March 16th. Gretchen’s House will remain closed for two weeks with an anticipated reopening date of Monday, March 30th. Please note that the reopening date is merely a projection and could change due to the ever-shifting nature of the current viral outbreak.

This decision was not made lightly. We have received guidance from our health consultants and families who work in the public health arena. Health, wellness, and safety of the community are a top priority for Gretchen’s House. We feel a social responsibility to help slow the spread of the virus, knowing that students and staff have family members of all ages and differing health vulnerabilities.

In addition to complying with the recommendation for social distancing, we are already finding it difficult to maintain required supplies of food and sanitation items. We project staffing shortages over the next couple of weeks as well. These concerns have weighed heavily in our decision to close temporarily.

We appreciate the support and concern many of you have expressed for our staff. Please know that all full and part-time staff with regular schedules will be paid, just as they are during snow days. For this reason, there will be no tuition reimbursement for this closing.

We know that there are families whose work is deemed essential to the health and safety of our community. We do have staff from each center who are willing to babysit for individual families in their homes. This is not meant to be a full time arrangement during the closure. Directors will provide a list of emails for those staff who are willing to be contacted for brief, temporary coverage. We are so grateful to our staff for their generosity and care for children. Please do not contact staff who have not agreed to be on this list, even if they have provided babysitting for you in the past. We want to respect all staff members’ individual decisions regarding health choices.

While we are choosing to temporarily close, we understand that this decision will cause childcare or financial hardships for some families, and for that we sincerely apologize. Our administrative team plans to meet again early next week to discuss additional measures, safety protocols, and financial policies. We will update you and communicate any changes immediately.

 

Sincerely,

Heidi McFadden

she/her

Executive Director

Gretchen’s House Child Care Centers

734-761-2576