News

Ocracoke Child Care will close for the season from Dec. 1 to March 1.

Early Nov 002

Press Release
November 5, 2014

Ocracoke Child Care will close for the season from Dec. 1 to March 1.
The board of directors made the decision Nov. 3 after reviewing the economic realities of the Ocracoke Island seasonal life.
The board decided that staying open full-time for eight children was not fiscally responsible.

“This is the first time Ocracoke Child Care has had to close seasonally,” Johnson said.  “Last winter, the board decided not to close even though there were only six children and we ended up in the spring with such a deficit that we almost had to close at the beginning of the season.”
The child care center board in May hired a new director, Chaeli Moyer, who, along with Gary Davis, CPA, scrutinized the financials and revamped the staffing. The Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board enabled the center to continue operating with a one-time emergency grant of $35,000.
“As chairman of the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board, I support the decision to close for three months,” said Frank Brown. “It’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.”
“After scrutinizing the day care’s financial picture, we made this decision in the best interest of the business,” said Amy Johnson, board president.
“We have to follow the island economic cycle. Most of our parents work in the businesses when the tourists are here in the high season,” she said.  Almost all of the Ocracoke restaurants and motels where parents work close from December to March. “To stay open during off-season when we operate at a loss, we need to have much more income from summer and stronger fundraising as well.  Our plan once we re-open in March is to extend hours into the evening and be open Saturday and Sunday to accommodate parents who are working in the restaurants and hotels.”
In other business, new board members elected Nov. 3 are Karen Lovejoy, Teresa O’Neal, Carol Pahl, secretary, Bob Kremser, treasurer, and Connie Leinbach.  In addition to Johnson, Janille Turner, Guille Moreno and Rob King are continuing as members of the board.
Over the winter, the board will conduct substantial fundraising in order to have enough cash to offer extended hours in season.  A donor appeal letter will be going out soon, and new sweatshirts and t-shirts are for sale now at the daycare and will be available at the Variety Store starting Wednesday, Nov. 12.

#

Categories: News

1 reply »

  1. As one of the founding board members of Ocracoke Child Care Inc., I feel the pain of the staff, parents and current board members. The seasonal aspect of our island economy is a challenge even for the larger profitable businesses. Since its inception, every winter has presented a financial challenge to the center. The move of the preschool program to Ocracoke School took away the only stable source of winter funding the center had as the vast majority of the center’s clients work in the tourist industry which for the most part goes dormant December through February.
    Let’s start with the positive. Ocracokers through hard work and relentless fundraising have created and built our daycare center, a not-too-far-from-completion athletic park, a state of the art fire department, a music and cultural arts organization that has stepped in to provide a hopefully temporary patch of cultural arts to our public school since the state of NC has chosen not to do so. These are all impressive feats for our little island of approximately 1000 year around residents. The down side is that many have become weary of the constant fundraising, requests for time and service and cash. Our economy still has a way to go and many struggle to get through the winter with only 6 to 8 months income in the bank. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. It is easy if you don’t have young children of your own or someone close to you with kids to not think of or appreciate what quality child care means to our community. Not only has Ocracoke Child Care consistently produced young pupils ready to learn and excel in their future education but it has and does provide a critical service the the entire community benefits from. Our labor force is the fuel in the machine that produces the vast majority of our local economy. Child care is critical to a strong labor force. Just as we expect the ferries to run, the utilities to work and our school to operate we should expect the same for our child care. Like everything else it will take a lot of hard work and creativity and I know Ocracoke is up to the task, we’ve done it many times before. Let’s all rally for Ocracoke Child Care this year. Become a member, make a donation, keep them in mind if a good fundraiser idea comes to mind. We can all help in some kind of a way – we just need to take a moment and do it.