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.