ConVal needs real childcare solution

To the editor:

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Our littlest and most vulnerable children are soon to lose their beloved school; we cannot let this happen. With the Pine Hill Childcare Center(PHCC) officially shut down effective July 1, displacing numerous young children, inconveniencing their hardworking families and dismissing valuable staff, it has become glaringly obvious that the Con Val School Board and Superintendent Bergeron have erred in their decision.

This important, serious issue to close the childcare space has not been given the necessary attention and care it deserves nor has it really been brought to the attention of the public. As a career educator with a background in early childhood development, I am positive this issue requires another in depth, more inclusive examination by all ConVal school administration and more importantly community members.

A concern that I’ve heard from parents and the public alike is “what actually happened?” There is a lot of confusion about this. To clarify, Pine Hill of Wilton ended its contract with PHCC and ConVal to be effective July 1. However, PHCC wished to remain as a childcare center in the precious space. There is documentation supporting this. Yet, town officials and the school board continue to claim that there was no indication of this.

After many hours reviewing past Selectman meetings, and different school board/committee meetings, and through countless hours of conversation with PHCC parents, staff and interns and Con Val teachers, local media and community members, I conclude that it is prudent to demand that the ConVal School District give this issue due process. Allow time for real discussion to occur with the community prior to determining the fate of this indispensable childcare resource. This state financed space needs to remain as the state intended; a childcare center.

If the district can pay for a four million dollar gymnasium renovation, and schools continue to have dwindling enrollment, certainly there must be some creative, financing genius to find space within the high school for all students.

Kristen Reilly


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