Don’t jeopardize child care

As parents who rely on the After School Care Program led by Zoe Langley at Juan Cabrillo School, we are alarmed by the recent reports that the program staffing qualifications may be scaled back.

The qualifications of both Zoe Langley and Jennifer Douglas are what has made our experience and our son’s experience in the program a joy, and has given us a sense of trust that our child is taken care of with intelligence, creativity, humor and immense caring and love. It is incomparable. The one vacation they were not at the day care we were shocked at the institutionalized and impersonal experience we received from the day care, it was like night and day, and had Zoe and Jennifer not come back, we would have pulled our son out of the program.

Our son, now in the fourth grade, has been participating in the program since kindergarten. We travel constantly for our work and have come to rely on the quality of our son’s day care program to provide the consistency of relationships that all children require. Ms. Langley plans her program to fulfill a variety of needs for parents and children. There is homework support as well as crafts and even dramatic productions. In addition, Ms. Langley’s program fosters trust in social relationships, something invaluable in our opinion. The children learn to cooperate and work well together and form a sense of group belonging. The parents can communicate family needs in confidence and trust that the best will be done for their child after the formal school day ends. Her program matches the effort, commitment, personal care, and follow up that we have received at Juan Cabrillo and that we have come to expect.

Parents do pay for this extra program and we have paid more every year. It is discouraging that the School District plans now to jeopardize two credentialed teachers who have the training and background to care for the whole child. The District has specifically required special certification for day-care teachers up, apparently, until now. Presumably these criteria were justified to provide proper care for children. Thus, the District’s own policies would dictate that it is not possible that teenage casual labor combined with fleeting visits by activity specialists will provide families the quality support that is needed. Is the District planning to greatly reduce the fee for Day Care? Is the resulting reduction in quality what the community wants? We think not. It would be a great loss to this family oriented community that we all love.

Lita Albuquerque

Carey Peck

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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