To the editor:
This week marks the third article that has been in this paper for Creative Coast Day Care. This last article is a thank you to all of the people who donated to the "cause" of keeping a business open. Not a community program, not a charitable organization, not a family in need, but a business.
We are all very fortunate to live in this incredible community. We all come together and support each other in times of need. However, if you are going to put a hand out you should do it with honesty.
Kathy Oakley has been a registered day care provider on this island for over 25 years. The difference between being "registered" and "licensed" is that they aren't regularly inspected by the state; they are still subject to surprise inspections though. Summertime is the hardest time of the year to be in this business, especially nowadays when there are so many people out of work. When you have a parent out of work who is home during the day it eliminates the need for a day care provider. This situation has put everyone into hard times, just like every other business owner these days. Regardless of the struggles of these long-time island businesses, they didn't approach the paper to ask for a community hand out under the guise of being the only licensed island day care, making it sound like there are no other options available to the community. It is true that Tina Riehm provides the only VPK program on the island now that there is no longer a Head Start/VPK program at the elementary school. However, it is also true that for the 2010/2011 school year her facility only scored a 69 on the state readiness rate which classifies her as a low performing provider. (Rate info from Florida Department of Education//VPK. FLDOE.ORG).
Everyone is struggling, don't forget about the women who not only watch your child, but may have watched you as a child, too. They are incredibly loving day care providers who also teach your children everything they need to know before entering school. Kathy Oakley and Gail Bradley are two of the greatest assets on this island. They are struggling too; they are just too humble to ask for a handout. However, if you're looking for an excellent place to take your children, just give them a call. Kathy Oakley, 239-283-8769 or Gail Bradley, 239-283-7775.