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update 5/29

Update 5/29

Update 5/18

Update 5/18

Update 5/18

Exposure Control Plan

Update 4/24

Update 4/20

Update 4/13

Update 4/7

Update 4/6

Update 3/27

Apple Tree is Reopening for Essential Employees

Apple Tree will Reopen for the families of Essential Employees on Monday, 3/30/2020.

 

The "Essential Employees" list has expanded significantly. Chances are is if you are still working, you may very well be considered "essential". Please click on the link to see if you are considered an essential employee.
If you are an essential employee and need care for your child(ren), please reach out to Nicole at 802-253-4321 or nicole@appletreelc.com and we will get you enrolled quickly to begin immediately. Whether you are working from home or not does not effect your ability to enroll. If you will need childcare and are an "essential worker" you must fill out this form. You will need the NICS # form the "essential employee" spreadsheet (see link above). Both parents must be considered "essential" in order to enroll, however please check the link listed above as that list as expanded.

 

 

We look forward to hearing from you and serving you soon.

 

Update 3/25

Apple Tree is Closing

Apple Tree will Close Temporarily until further notice.

It is with a heavy heart that we must close our doors for the time being. This takes effect Today, Wednesday March 25th 2020. We simply can not afford to remain open. We also want to do our part in following the orders of the Governor and President and help bring the curve down. We felt we would be able to offer care to "Essential Employees" and gave it all that we had, and in the end it's costing us too much to keep these doors open all while putting our staff and these students in potential harms way. The benefits do not out weigh the costs.

We want to begin by expressing how much we miss each and every one of you. We hope you are staying healthy and enjoying some extra snuggles from your children during these trying times. There is so much uncertainly about what the next few weeks will look like and we are making decisions based on the ever changing information we are presented with. Keep in mind this is a moment in time, this too shall pass, and it's our mission to ensure the financial stability of our business so we can reopen those doors and celebrate as we welcome our families and staff back. We are doing everything we can to make sure that will happen.

With that, we will need your help to make this work. All families that are carrying a balance must be paid in full. Invoices have been emailed out and payments can be sent to Apple Tree Learning Centers, 1056 Mountain Road Suite 16 Stowe, VT 05672 or you can go to our website and make an online payment through Paypal. We are also open to collecting donations or tuition payments for those who are able to at this time. Any amount you can donate is appreciated greatly.

We made the decision to not charge our families for two weeks (March 23-April 6th). Believe it or not, this is going against what was encouraged of us by the State. We choose this path as we recognize the fear and anxiety around the unknown and the financial stressors you are all faced with, and we wanted to eliminate some of that for you for a period of time. This did mean we were forced to make the extremely difficult decision to lay off majority of our staff last week, and others earlier this week, and now all of them. Without income coming in, we can not have money going out. This was not something we wanted to do, and we have made the commitment to our teachers that we will be offered them their positions back with same pay and benefits as before, as long as we can maintain this business financially through this time. At this time, the only income we have secured is State Child Care Financial Assistance which will continue to paid for all families that were receiving it prior to the mandated closure. We will also be continuing to collect public pre-k funding for all of you enrolled in act 166. These funds will allow us to cover most of our overhead costs and gives us hope that this business can survive this.

No one knows the longevity of this virus and how long we are truly going to be closed for, therefore we are now being forced to make further decisions per the recommendations of the state, and to keep this business afloat. We will be reevaluating our situation as we get closer to April 6th and see whether school/childcare closures remain in place and what additional state supports there are for our program.

We have spent a great deal of time weighing our options while trying to make the best decision for the business, our staff, the families and the community as a whole. We will update you with the decisions we make moving forward, we just wanted to keep families updated on what we are being faced with at this time. Your ideas and thoughts do matter and would be taken into consideration, so please feel free to call or email Sonja or Nicole anytime. We will get through this together!

Good Morning Everyone,

As we prepare for the adjustments that our community is faced with, we are happy to welcome you to Apple Tree next week. We will do our best to make this transition as smooth as possible for you and your children. We want to thank all of you for your hard and continued work during this stressful time. Our community needs you most right now and we understand the importance of knowing your children are safe.

Here is a little information about our program and myself, please feel free to reach out with any specific questions at any time.

Each day students should be prepared with the following: inside shoes, water bottle, lunch and a few snack options (morning and afternoon), outdoor gear, homework, and any accompanying technology.
It should be warming up next week, but is still a good idea to bring a hat and gloves in addition to snow or rain pants / jacket. We are very fortunate to be based right along the Stowe Rec Path, with plenty of fields, streams and forest to explore, in addition to a lovely playspace with a lean-to in the back of our building. I am confident we will have plenty of options to remain active and get fresh air next week.

Every morning and afternoon I plan to set aside time for children to work on school assignments or have some quiet reading time (Feel welcome to bring any favorite books along!) I feel that with our smaller group size I will be able to help students individually as needed. Technology is welcome for homework, students will be able to access wifi. Please let me know if you have any questions or specific needs for homework and I will do my best to meet those.

I have worked for our afterschool and summer programs for a few years at Apple Tree and I have a background in Outdoor Education. I am passionate about being active in the outdoors and our students seem to show us how to enjoy it so well.

I am looking forward to meeting you and your family next week. Please don't hesitate to reach out to myself or Nicole with any questions.

Sincerely,
Kendra McGuire
After School Assistant Director
Apple Tree Learning Centers

COVID-19

Apple Tree's Plan for Families

Update 3/19/20

Dear Parent and Guardians,

Apple Tree is now open for Essential employees. This takes effect March 19th through April 6th at this time, with the possibility of this extending based on the Governors Directives. If you or any one you know needs care during this time and are considered "essential" please feel free to share our contact information. Please click the link provided as the list for "essential" employees has expanded.

If you are in a situation where you are required to go to work during this time, and are not currently on the "essential" list, you can click on this link below and request to have your your profession added.

We have packaged up your child's belongings, except those who are staying with us, to allow space for new students who are enrolling during this time. We felt it was best to not have your child's items mixed up with anyone new coming in. If you would like to stop by today or tomorrow to collect your child's items you are welcome to do so. The code on the door has unfortunately changed, so you will have to ring the buzzer on your left and we will bring you your items. If you wish to leave them here with us, that is okay too, as we are planning on reopening when this is over.Yesterday was one of the hardest days for Apple Tree Learning Centers. We had to temporarily lay off many of our teachers.

These teachers are our family, loved one's and people we cherish deeply. This was difficult, yet needed decision to help get us through this trying time. It is our goal to do everything we can to get through this crisis and be able to reopen our doors to our staff an current families and children.

We have had to make some very challenging decisions, and none of which we take lightly. This is a unique type of business.

We are so connected to our families and children and care deeply for you all. We want you to be financially stable and get through this with your bills paid and meals on the table. At the same time this is a business, one in which would not sustain without income coming in.

The state is encouraging all programs to charge full tuition during this time. We however feel that is unfair and a huge financial burden to our families at this time. We will have to reassess starting the week of April 6th and will then have to begin charging some form of tuition in order for families to hold their spaces with us. We are unable to hold spaces indefinitely.

If you have the ability or means to pay tuition during this time, your space will be automatically saved for you and your payments would be greatly appreciated. We would be open to taking donations of any type, and those would also ensure a space for you through this process.

We will continue to pair back our costs, and may have to lay off more staff in order to keep things affordable for us during these times. We are making every effort possible to ensure we are financially able to sustain this business during these times while offering care to essential workers.

We miss you all, and wish you all health and happiness today, tomorrow and everyday moving forward.

Nicole & Sonja

Apple Tree Remains open for Essential Employees

Update 3/18/2020

Dear Parent and Guardians,

Apple Tree is now open for
Essential employees. This takes effect March 19th through April 6th at this time, with the possibility of this extending based on the Governors Directives.

Essential Persons are those absolutely critical to the State's response to COVID-19 and continued public health and safety. Specifically, "Essential Persons" are defined as staff and providers of child care and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) for children of other Essential Persons, including custodial and kitchen staff; providers of healthcare including but not limited to workers at clinics, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); nursing homes, long-term care and post-acute care facilities, respite houses, VNAs; designated agencies, emergency medical services; criminal justice personnel including those in law enforcement, courts, and correctional services; public health employees; firefighters; Vermont National Guard personnel called to duty for this response; other first responders; and state employees determined to be essential for response to this crisis by the State Emergency Operations Center.

Effective tomorrow we are
only able to open for these essential employees. Please share this information with your family, friends, neighbors or anyone who you believe meets this criteria. Families can reach Nicole at 802-253-4321 or nicole@appletreelc.com.

Please be on the lookout for an email updates regarding Apple Tree's plan moving forward in regards to tuition, spaces moving forward and how things are progressing.

We know this is a time of extreme uncertainty and stress and we are doing our best to navigate a landscape that is literally changing minute to minute. Our goal is to remain in business through this crisis so that we will be here when the bans are lifted and our families can return to work. To that end, we are accessing every resource available to us at this time, which unfortunately is almost nonexistent. We will keep you informed about our progress and decisions made every step of the way. As always, please feel free to reach out to Sonja or Nicole with questions and concerns

We hope you all stay well
and please know our thoughts are with you all during this time.

Apple Tree Learning Centers Plan for COVID-19

Update 3/16/2020

Dear Families,

Thank you for all your support and collaboration thus far in our shared efforts to keep our childcare program community safe in the uncertainty of the Covid-19 virus pandemic.

We have recently received guidance from the Child Development Division. They nor the Vermont Department of Health are suggesting that we close at this time. They have however put the following immediate restrictions in place.

  • No more than 10 children in a group anywhere inside or outside
  • No field trips of any kind
  • No visitors, including special service providers or new staff, families & students
  • If you have traveled out of Vermont, you will need to self quarantine from Apple Tree Learning Centers for 14 days prior to returning. This includes but is not limited to Staff, students and families

We are struggling to balance appreciation for the fact that childcare is a critical service for families and children with our common civic responsibility to keep you, your children, our staff and our community safe and healthy at this time. Social distancing to limit the spread of the virus is such an important holding action and so difficult to practice in caring for very young children.

You know that we have stepped up our usual vigilance around frequent disinfection in our program and from this point forward we are instituting the following additional safeguards:

  • All teachers will be doing wellness checks of students at drop off. Children with symptoms of infectious illness will be sent home.
  • We have canceled all enrichment programs such as river arts, AB2 and Music for the time being.
  • We ask that families who do continue attending our program maintain our vigilance in regard to hand washing and exclusion for potential illness. Please continue washing your hands and you children's hands with hot water and soap for 30 seconds upon arrival at our program at drop off and pick up.
  • If your child has any symptoms of illness, please keep them home and stay in contact with staff about their ability to return.
  • We are asking that families limit their time in the center as much as possible during pick up and drop off, to minimize exposure and that you do your best to have one consistent person dropping off and picking up each day.
  • If someone other than a parent or guardian is picking up, they will be asked to stay in the entry and we will bring your child to them. Please do not share the code, and have them ring the bell and a staff will help them with the pick up process.

While we will remain open at this time, please note that this could change at any moment as we continue to receive guidance from the Department of Health and the Child Development Division. We will be running full day programs for the school aged children, however can only have 10 in any given room at any given time, including outside spaces. With that being said spaces are limited. We opened an online registration platform on our website for school age children. Note: We will be operating on a first come first serve basis. Follow this link After school coverage.

We understand that this a very concerning time for all of our families and not everyone is going to be comfortable bringing their child to Apple Tree at this time. Please notify Nicole if you are not planning to attend. This will help us better plan our staffing as we struggle to meet their needs at this time as well.

We will continue to charge full tuition for all families during this time. That is the only way that I can continue to pay our staff - who are dependent on their salaries to take care of themselves and their families - and be here for you and your children when this crisis is over. If that creates hardship for you, please contact me personally and we will work something out. If we do have to close, this policy will be revisited.

As ever, it's an honor to be trusted with caring for your children. Thank you for working with us to do your best to keep our childcare program and our greater community safe and healthy during this complicated time. I know that we can move through this together. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and questions and I will continue to keep you well informed.