The City Council will discuss changes in the city’s preschool at its meeting tonight.
Since city staff members decided to hire a nonprofit group to operate the Child Development Program, the plan has drawn criticism from some parents. They are upset that Mothers at Work plans to increase fees for the child care program from $225 per month--an average of $10.50 per day--to $15 per day when it takes over in March.
Parents were also upset because misunderstandings between Mothers at Work and day care staff led to the resignation of several teachers.
City staff members met to iron out differences with a group of parents and teachers Thursday, but some are not satisfied.
The council has several options. It could continue the current program, hire the teachers as regular employees, implement the contract with Mothers at Work or discontinue the program.
If the council approves the contract, which was signed in late December, it could choose to offset the fee increases with a city subsidy until the summer, when more spots are available in other child care programs. The staff estimates that the subsidy for four months would cost the city $25,640.
City Manager William A. Huston has said that the city decided to hire an outside group to run the program after independent contractors who teach there approached the city and requested benefits, which they do not receive.
The benefits are expensive to provide, and even without them, the program has already been losing about $2,400 a month during the last three months, according to staff estimates.
Under the contract with Mothers at Work, the teachers will receive benefits.