5/5/2020 Coronavirus Update
In the March/April Newsletter we stated that our plan for reopening at the Center was 5/13/2020. That newsletter was written before the COVID-19 Closures. Fortunately the restoration company has been working on the building, but because of COVID-19 the contractors lost 2 weeks of building progress. They are working hard to get caught up, but we are still waiting on a few things:
1.) At this point Child Care Centers are not permitted to open until Governor Wolf moves Lancaster County into the Yellow Phase of his reopening PA Plan.
2.) Security System Reinstall = Yarnell was closed the last few weeks b/c of COVID. They opened this week and we are on their schedule for a reinstall on 5/15/2020. We contacted our insurance company to see if they will allow us to start moving things back into the building before the security system is reinstalled. If they will allow us to do so we will be asking for help to move things from a storage unit in Landisville, the Donegal Jr High & Primary, and to clean out the POD in the parking lot at the Center starting Monday, 5/11/2020.
3.) State Inspection = I contacted our state representative to setup a time for her to come out after everything is set up in the classrooms. This has to be completed before we can start caring for children again.
4.) Restoration Company = Their original goal was to have everything completed by May 1, 2020 but this got pushed back because of COVID closures. We are still waiting on the painter to finish some touch up work, 3 doors to be installed, HVAC to finish installing some of the vents in the ceiling, bathroom stall doors to be put back up, as well as a few other minor things.
As a heads up... we will have to follow CDC Guidelines when we reopen, so things are going to be a little different than they used to be to keep everyone safe (i.e. answering COVID questions before entering the building, etc). I have been attending virtual meetings with Keystone Stars & DHS (state). Guidelines are not clear at this point, but as we learn more we will keep everyone in the loop. Unfortunately our preschool graduation is going to have to be postponed until we get everything settled with the reopening process. Field Trips we had planned will most likely be changing as well. Families who paid in advance will have a credit on their account for trips we do not attend.
As soon as these things are completed we will have a better idea what our opening day will be. We are praying for sooner rather than later because we miss all of you & understand how important it is that we get back to providing the care we are so well-known for.
We are almost there and appreciate your patience as we navigate through these uncharted waters!!!
Kinderhook Early Learning Center, LLC
3/13/2020 Coronavirus Information
As I was writing an update to parents/guardians regarding the Coronavirus, we received notice from the Donegal School District that they will be closing for the health and safety of all the students and the Donegal Community (as mandated by Governor Wolf) until at least 3/30/2020. Due to this decision we have no choice but to close as well, because we are not permitted to be in the building during this closure. I will be in communication with the Donegal School District, so we can keep parents/guardians informed if decisions are made by the district for further cancellation. Families will not be charged for the time we are closed due to the virus.
As a reminder, staff are not permitted to babysit families of children who are enrolled in our program.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters!
Kinderhook Early Learning Center, LLC
March/April 2020 Newsletter
We have a tentative return date! As of now our plan is to be open at the Coffee Goss Location starting 5/13/2020.
This date is dependent on township and state inspections going as planned (as well as contractors sticking to the schedule), but we wanted to give families a heads up so they can plan accordingly. If for some reason we suspect a delay we will notify families immediately.
In order for this to happen we will need to close the Center 5/7/2020 - 5/12/2020 so we can move everything back into the Center and the teachers can organize their classrooms. Parents will only be charged part-time for the weeks of 5/4/2020 & 5/11/2020 due to these closures.
When plans are finalized with moving we will send out another update & welcome volunteers! Thank you to everyone who has offered to help when the time comes & for everyone who has been holding onto toy/book donations until we have the space to store them again :)
In the meantime we are going to continue with the following upcoming events to keep providing the best care possible for your children:
Thank you to Lea Gorecki (Ava Quinn's Mom) for coming to the Center to teach our children ages 3+ the importance of dental hygiene! We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to show the children how to properly brush their teeth, and talk about good food choices to keep their mouth healthy.
Jan Betty from Milanof Schock Library will be coming to the Center on Friday, March 13, 2020 to read to ages 1-2 at the Jr High School starting at 9am, and will then go to the Primary School to read to our children ages 3+. During the month of March we have been encouraging families to read to their children at home for our annual Reading Incentive Program. On March 27, 2020 we will be celebrating the end of our Program with a party in each classroom.
As a reminder... the rate increase takes affect April 6, 2020. If we did not ask you to sign a new agreement at the February 24th update we will be asking you to sign one before April 6th.
Easter Bunny Visit/Egg Hunt =
Thurs. April 9, 2020 starting at 9:30am
Easter Closure Reminder =
We will be closed Good Friday, April 10, 2020
Preschool Graduation =
Thurs. May 21, 2020 at the Center for the families of children who will be going to kindergarten next year to celebrate their accomplishments! The program will begin at 6:30pm & there will be light refreshments after the ceremony.
Miss Rae handed out information a few weeks ago for children ages 3+. If your child will be attending this summer and you did not receive this information please e-mail Michelle@kinderhookearlylearning.com
If you received the information and did not turn in your slip yet, please do so ASAP to reserve your child's spot for this summer.
February 29, 2020 Update
To keep everyone in the loop: The fire department was called out today as a precaution. Heat tape from one of the new units caused smoke in the attic again, but there is no need for alarm. The restoration is still on track and inspections are being completed to ensure the safety of the building before we return. On a positive note, the roof was completed last week. Drywall was hung in the rooms behind the office that were damaged. The drop ceilings are currently being installed & the front door is scheduled to be installed next week. After this is completed the restoration company will be able to work on the flooring & installing cabinetry.
We appreciate your prayers as we continue to work towards returning to the Center as soon as possible!
Troy & Michelle Patterson
January 23, 2020 Update
Several parents have been asking for an update on the progress of the building, so we have decided to add another update to our website...
Last week contracts were signed for the restoration company to continue working on the building. There was a delay because we were making sure the insurance company was not going to take shortcuts that would jeopardize the safety of the building . After meeting with several experts to discuss what is best we have come to an agreement that we are comfortable with, and are excited to see things start to fall in place!
At this point we are waiting for contractors to start repairing the roof trusses. In the meantime the restoration company is completing the interior demo, so they can start restoration once the roof trusses/roof are replaced. Working with the insurance company and contractors is going to take time because we want to ensure that things are completed correctly for the safety of all the children we care for.
Thankfully the temporary locations are working out very well. We continue to be very grateful to the Donegal School District for allowing us to use the rooms in their school buildings, so we can continue to offer the same quality of care we were able to provide at the Center!
Our Keystone STARS representative came to visit yesterday and she was impressed with the layout of the rooms we are currently using. She brought us resources and stated that, "the rooms were nicer than some of the STAR 4 Centers she has visited".
Unfortunately we do not know an exact time frame for returning to the building, and appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this process. All of us are excited to return to the Center as soon as possible:)
On a side note... the state requires that the children's files be updated every 6 months. To make sure we are meeting this state regulation we update the files every August and February. On February 24, 2020 we are asking all parents to come to the Donegal Primary School between 4-7pm to ensure that your child's file is up-to-date. Please mark your calendar because if files are not updated on this day we will not be able to provide care for your child until the file is updated. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
Due to the week and a half closure for the fire, we have decided to OPEN for Presidents' day
instead of being closed for staff training...
Temporary Phone Number!!
The IT Department at Donegal created a phone line for us to use until we can return to the Center, so we no longer have to use our Trac Phones. Please call (717) 492-1340 and follow the prompts to reach your child's classroom...
Donations ~ Thank you!!
We are humbled and overwhelmed by the amount of donations we have received from all of you, and cannot thank you enough! At this time we are asking that donations of toys, etc be held until we are able to return to the Center because we ran out of room at our temporary locations. We will definitely be in need of supplies again as we prepare to return to the Center. At that time we will make another list of supplies needed (office equipment, shelving etc). Thank you so much for your kindness and continued support!
It means so much to our Kinderhook Family!!
The state came out to inspect our temporary locations on Fri 12/20/19. They require that we notify parents that our evacuation plan for the temporary locations has been updated. In the event that we would have to evacuate the Junior High or Primary Schools, the children will be taken to Donegal Senior High School until their parents can pick them up. Please see link below to view the updated Parent Letter for the Evacuation Plan. We also will not be permitted to use the climbing equipment on the Primary School Playgrounds. Department of Human Services requires 9 inches of loose mulch around the climbing equipment. Department of Education is not as strict on these requirements.
Fire Update from 12/15/19
Please Use the Walkie Talkies outside the doors to let our staff know you are there & use the numbers above only as necessary during the day
1.) Addresses of Relocation Sites (if your child was transitioning to the next class we are going to have them stay with the class they were previously in) =
Donegal Primary School = 1055 Koser Rd Mount Joy, Pa 17552
Donegal Junior High School (not called "Middle School" as in previous updates) =
915 Anderson Ferry Rd Mount Joy, Pa 17552
2.) Personal items = Our staff have bagged and labeled items that we could take out of the Center. These items are on our porch at the Center in grocery bags. They will be out there until Monday evening, so if you wish to pick them up please do so by then. As a reminder... most items have a strong smoke smell so please keep that in mind before taking the items into your home & using the bottles/sippy cups is not recommended.
3.) Hours of Operation = Our hours of Operation and Holiday Schedule will remain the same even though we are in the school buildings. Donegal has graciously allowed up to keep our normal hours of 6:30am - 6pm even when they are not in session.
4.) Donations Needed = We had to throw away all paper products (including books), items containing foam/material, or any items that may absorb smoke. Because of this our list of needs is extensive. For now we are going to list the items we need the most for our relocation sites. As we prepare to move back into our building and have more space, we will post a list of needs again. Before we move back into the building all of the items that are currently being placed in a POD in the parking lot are going to need cleaned before they can go back into the building. When the time comes we will ask for volunteers to help clean. So many of you have offered to help and we are SO grateful for your kindness!!!
Items we currently need =
(Items can be brought to the Open House on Tues 12/17/19 from 4:30 - 6, but please e-mail MIchelle to let her know what you are bringing in advance...we have limited space at the temporary locations)
Baby jumpers/bouncy seats/swings
Books for all ages (0-9)
Blankets & Crib Sheets
Paper (construction paper, copier paper, butcher paper, paper for the children to draw/paint on)
Large pillows with covers that can be washed for soft reading area
Soft blocks for infants and toddlers
Gallon Size storage bags to put dirty dishes in for parents
plastic spoons/forks for snacks
Snacks (infant/toddler & regular)
Dress Up Clothes for all ages
Baby Dolls for all ages (a mixture of ethnicities preferred)
(2) Toddler Walking Ropes
Tuesday, 12/10/19 Fire Update:
We sincerely apologize for the delay in updating everyone. There have been a lot of details to figure out since the fire occurred on Sat, so we appreciate your patience! Due to the extent of the fire/smoke/water damage to the interior of our building we will not be able to use the facility for at least 2 months (possibly up to 6 months). There is no electric, running water, or phone service at this time.
By the end of next week we are hoping to have 2 "disposable" phones so families can communicate with us via phone. As soon as we have these numbers available we will post them on our website. For now please communicate with Michelle through e-mail. She will try her best to answer individual e-mails in a timely manner, but cannot guarantee an immediate response during this time of transition. Please continue to check the website for updates that hopefully answer some of your questions.
Thankfully the Donegal School District has graciously offered to allow us to utilize spaces in their Primary School and the Middle School for as long as we need to! We are very overwhelmed by the support of our community (especially our First Responders, the Donegal School District, the families we serve, our neighbors, family/friends & other local child care centers) We received so many e-mails offering us space/help and cannot thank everyone enough!!
The children in the Sea Turtle Room, Starfish, & Manatees/School Age will be relocating to the LG room at the Primary School. Parents/Guardians will be able to use the main entrance of the Primary School and the LG room is to the left when you come in the lobby. In order to prevent an inconvenience to the school by overwhelming their office staff, 2 way radios will be in a container outside the main entrance (with a note above the container that says, "Kinderhook Early Learning Center") so parents/guardians can notify our staff that you are outside and we can let you in the front door and the LG room. The main entrance and the LG room are locked at all times for security purposes.
The children in the Shrimps, Guppies, Penguins and Sea Dragons will be in two classrooms in the Middle School. Parents/Guardians will be able to enter the side of the building by the library. To gain access there will be 2 way radios outside this door as well for our staff to let you in. Mrs. Heisey (the Middle School Principle) will be creating a map so parents/guardians know where they can park to prevent disruption to the bus traffic flow.
We will have an Open House at the Primary & Middle Schools from 4:30pm - 6pm next Tuesday, December 17, 2019 so parents/guardians know where and how to drop off their children.
The rest of this week we will be trying to salvage as much as we can from the Center and will begin moving into our temporary location. Our plan is to have care available in the Primary & Middle Schools by next Wednesday 12/18/19. Please e-mail Michelle to let us know by this Thurs 12/12/19 whether or not your child will be joining us next week (and what their schedule will be = days & hours), or if they will be returning to us at a later date so we can plan accordingly.
As a heads up... We will not be able to do dishes at the temporary location. Please bring items your child will need for the day in a diaper bag or backpack labeled with their name. This bag should contain sippy cups, bowls, spoons, etc that should be taken home every day to be washed. Infants should have 4 bottles to be used each day and taken home to be washed. We will have spring water available to make bottles with formula. Please make sure the bags for the children do not contain anything that may be harmful to the children if they should happen to get into the bags (medication, coins, or anything that could potentially be a choking hazard).
There will not be cubby space for the children. For older children please bring a backpack for your child each day containing the items they will need (no large pillows for nap time please... travel or small pillows and blankets/crib sheets are fine) Please bring a water bottle (these can be refilled throughout the day) and lunches that do not need to be heated (thermos work well to keep food warm if you would like your child to have a heated meal). If items need refrigerated please put an ice pack in the lunch bag. The school is also peanut free, so peanut butter and jelly will not be permitted.
We will not have extra supplies (change of clothes, diaper, cups, etc) for the children as we normally do, so please make sure your child has what they need for the day!
Several families have asked about personal items that were left in the Center... As a heads up, everything left in the Center that was not destroyed has a strong smoke smell. We are going to bag the items we can salvage and label the bags with the family's name so you can decide if you want them to be discarded. The restoration company suggested diapers, bottles, sippy cups, no longer be used because they are nearly impossible to clean properly.
We are still receiving mail at the Center and are periodically checking in, so when we receive Scholastic Book Orders, etc we will make sure parents receive them. Michelle also has not had a chance to keep up with the accounts, so if you asked about payments we will get back to you on this as soon as we are able to. We have not deposited the checks that were in the box last Friday because care was not provided for this week. They were taken out of the Center on Friday because Michelle planned to work on the accounts from home yesterday, so we do have the checks/money orders that were in the cash box. As soon as we figure out how future payments can be made securely and what families owe (or are due) we will update families on our website.
To those of you who offered donations of toys/supplies... Thank you so much! We can definitely use them, but do not have a place to store them until we start moving things over and see what we need. As soon as we know what our needs are we will put this on our website as well.
We know this is a lot of information for families to take in... Please know that we are doing our absolute best to try to lessen the inconvenience to our families as much as possible which is why we included so many details in this update and why it took us a minute to get it out to everyone. Please note that all of this is only temporary and that we will be back in our newly renovated building in a few short months...We miss all of you already and can't wait to get everyone back together again!
Thank you as always for your support ~ It means so much to our Kinderhook Family!!
Troy & Michelle Patterson