“At the beginning of March, our enrollment was 123 children,” New Beginnings Child Care director Annette Richter said. “At the end of March, we were at 23 children.”
Currently hovering around 65, the drop in census has taken a toll on this vital, essential operation. A short closure when a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 did not help. This sudden change, this loss of tuition could prove devastating. Rent, utilities and staff salaries were dependent on these funds and Richter was not sure if they would be able to meet these financial obligations.
When the Montgomery County United Fund phone rang recently and I saw it was Richter, I eagerly answered.
“I hate to ask, but was there any update on the COVID grant decision,” Richter said.
I could hear the trepidation in her voice. With a smile, I shared the good news that the review committee had agreed to fund a portion of their proposal and I could drop the check off later in the day.
Since New Beginnings was closed that week, I was able to tour the facility and talk to Richter more in-depth. The funds I brought would ensure her staff was paid this month. They are the heart of this ministry. As I entered classroom after classroom, I saw the brightly colored bulletin boards, the perfectly printed daily schedules, the birthday proclamations, tiny tables and carefully sanitized toys. I saw love and care.
Richter echoed what I was witnessing, “We are hiring better qualified employees because of the funds that MCUF provides.”
She said the annual allocations help New Beginnings purchase health insurance coverage for the staff through the Chamber’s Wellness for Life plan.
“It’s especially important for the single parents entering the workforce who have joined our staff,” she said. “We are able to attract higher quality staff to offer higher quality care.”
During a normal year, or even one upended by a pandemic, contributions to the MCUF are ensuring that parents in Montgomery County can confidently go to work knowing their kids are experiencing love and care from the teachers and staff of this partner agency.
Donations can be mailed to MCUF, P.O. Box 247, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 or through PayPal on our website at montgomeryunitedfund.org. Payroll deductions can be arranged through your company’s human resources department.