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Letter: Daycare Center Owner On Eviction-Numbers Don't Add Up

Letter to residents from Kathy Ebert, owner of New Discovery Childcare Center

Kathy Ebert is the owner of New Discovery Childcare Center


I appreciate that you value our work with your children and have chosen New Discovery – many of you for several years. Connections to children and families have been the heart and soul of my commitment in Kings Park over the last 30 years.   I wanted you to hear from me about our space in the San Remo Building.

Although all of the details are not entirely clear, we are facing a great loss. Kings Park Schools will close the doors of this building to your children after June 30.

The children who should be here this summer and next year will not be able to use the building.  It has never been my intention to shut down the program. The construction of a cell tower behind the playground has been planned by the district, and a time line for its implementation was presented to the residents of Kings Park on February 28. 

When our school year ends, New Discovery must move out. Shortly after, cell tower construction begins. If that’s progress, then the song “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot” says it all about what is happening to our children. It has never been my intention to shut down the program and I will continue to look for a new location.

We are all anxious to have a more positive outcome for the children. Several parents have asked if there is something they can do. The answer is that everyone should fight for New Discovery to stay in the building.  If you want to do something to continue the program, you need to let your elected school board members know that this situation is not good for your children. You can attend the meetings or e-mail school board members. Tell them that your children need this program and it is being stolen right out from under their noses.

Your children are depending on you to make sure they get quality early education. The children need to be respected. If you live in Kings Park, you are paying public officials to work on behalf of your children, not to promote non-educational special interests.

Many of you have been actively questioning school district officials about their decision to evict New Discovery. You have been told that the district loses money on our rental. That needs to be challenged.

According to budget documents on the district website, revenue from New Discovery rental has been removed from the budget, but expenses for San Remo have not been reduced.

Administrators have repeatedly told me that San Remo needs custodial service because we have children in the building. However, next year’s budget shows the same custodial expense for San Remo as this year, with no revenue from New Discovery or any other child care program. Also, custodial service at San Remo has not been assigned in the past or present time for exclusive service to New Discovery. The building is used daily by school district administration offices, first floor conference and meeting rooms, and a warehouse for district supplies. It is also used by community organizations such as girl scouts, soccer, basketball, and SEPTA.

Other expenses in San Remo such as repairs and upkeep of grounds are the same in next year’s budget.    Expenses for custodial supplies are not separately listed for San Remo, but the budget does not indicate a decrease. District wide expense for heat, water, and electric are higher in next year’s budget than they are this year.

Where is the logic that our program costs the school district if expenses are the same or higher with New Discovery rental income removed from the budget? New Discovery has paid over 3.5 million dollars in rent to Kings Park School District since 1983. Isn’t income for the district that also invests in the children of Kings Park a safe and sound choice?

It saddens me to think that in place of curious young learners in the playground, it will be empty and a cell phone tower will be erected in its place. The gardens planted and tended by the children will be gone. There will be no art work, laughter, learning, and joy on the first floor of San Remo and the rooms will be used for storage instead of for thriving, healthy children. Is that how young children and their community environment should be treated?

New Discovery is a small “mom and pop” program struggling through a slow economic recovery from recession and a current trend of declining enrollment in our schools. As the original owner of New Discovery, I have worked together with families for 30 years to meet the needs of their children. I would like to continue providing your children with a quality community based program in Kings Park.  If you need my assistance at this time, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

New Discovery is an asset to Kings Park. We provide a source of income to the district, a valuable program to the children of the community, and employment to district residents. Voice your concerns to the school board of Kings Park School District and join the New Discovery parents who have been speaking up on behalf of their children.

 

Kathy Ebert
Owner, New Discovery Childcare Center

new guy March 08, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Two of my kids enjoyed new discovery. Sorry to see it go.
Albert Noesei March 09, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Good luck ever trying to get an answer from that board or administration. It is such a shame that the district has denegrated to this point. You cannot possibly imagine a more clueless group. They continue to cut services and use inaccurate excuses to explain their decisions. It is so unfortunate. I am very interested to see the state scores on the ELA's and the testing. You cannot continue to cut teachers and overload classes and not pay the piper. I am very interested to see the budget process as well. I will take a ballpark guess and say they are going to cut 5-7 elementary teachers and 5 high school positions. Let's see where they go. Maybe I am wrong, but if you look in the past four years they have devastated that staff. It is really sad.
John Nobles March 09, 2012 at 12:08 PM
My son went here and we switched to The Learning Experience in Forst Salonga 2+ years ago----I now have 2 children at The Learning Experience and they come home HAPPY--couldn't say that about New Discovery. Sorry--just being honest. Call me for a reference 631-782-1699 John Nobles
Jackie March 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I heard that New Discovery wasn't paying their full rent to the district because their enrollment was low...not sure if that's true but maybe that has something to do with it.
Marc Goldstein March 09, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Two of my kids went to New Discovery years ago without any problems and seemed to enjoy it. I was at the Board of Ed meeting where they stated that they owed the District rent money, and by assumption you would think this is the reason for the termination of the contract, but as previously mentioned with this Board you never know the ulterior motives they have.
Jackie March 09, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I think it's unfair to solely blame the BOE. This is happening all over NYS not just Kings Park. We are also a small community where the majority of the tax burden is on our shoulders and if they were to raise the taxes enough to save positions you'd all be screaming about that. Maybe the teachers can compromise even a tiny bit on healthcare, etc. they also have no problem charging parents $70.00 an hour for tutoring. Ridiculous!
KP mom March 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM
The oldest of my 4 kids went to New Discovery and had a so/so experience. I didn't send any kids back there because I felt that in the three years I was there the director (at the time was mrs. Ebert, not sure if It still is) should have been at every parent teacher night at the very least. In three years there, I never met the woman. Some parents had serious issues with their child's experience and reached out to meet with her and no phone calls were ever returned or meetings made. I didnt want to disrupt my child's experience, so I left him there, but that is why we never returned with our other three children. Having said that, I guess he's doing something right to have the longevity she has. Time will tell what happens.
Katy Cardinale March 09, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I am sorry to see ND go. Both of my sons attended school there and thrived. When my older son entered kindergarten and struggled, ND was a safe-haven. The extended kindergarten program was a life saver for him. The school is full of wonderful teacher who genuinely care for their children. It really is a loss for Kings Park.
dina brown March 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Kiddie Care Early Learning Center Off Town Line Rd Excellent Program Kiddiecarelearning.com
Debbie Danley March 09, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Its absolutely true! They are paying $5,000 less a month then they should be because they are struggling. We provide them with custodians and some utlilities and are loosing money every month on the propery. By law a public school can not fund or partially fund a private entity.
Debbie Danley March 09, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Tricia's comments are on the money, Why would the director of New Discovery right such a letter, placing blame solely on the district and the Board of Ed without explaining that she could no longer afford the agreed upon rent each month. Many of us KP Residents are facing tough times as the ecomony has hit our town hard. I would venture to guess if any of us wrote a letter to our landlords or mortgage company and explained we would be paying less as our finances are down, we would not be permitted to stay in our residences. New Discovery is a private entity and tax payers can not afford to contribute to a private business. No one has said anything negative about the program New Discovery offers, it comes down to a function of money. The cell tower has zero to do with New Discovery leaving (the San Remo site is not the only parcal of land available to construct this tower, it is just the most logical after a thorough survey was done). Mrs. Ebert wants everyone to believe our elected officals only have an interest in "Special Interests" and a cell tower. What she should have written it that she needs our communities help as she can no longer afford to meet her finacial obligation and would like to find a creative solution. Instead she points the finger to everyone and never mentions she took it upon herself to give her business a $5,000 a month discount on rent.
LCDR March 09, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Thank you Mr. Nobles for the reference. I'll be telling my daughter about The Learning Exp for my grand kids. You being willing to put your phone # out there, and the other letters, is proof enough.
kpismyhome March 11, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Why not look in to St Joseph's school to rent space in--it closed in the 70s and the church still uses it for activities and for religious instruction. Most of the old school is not in use. It would keep the school in KP and I am sure the church could use a little bit of cash. Should be a win win.
Lifetime Kings Parker March 11, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Sounds like a typical NIMBY scenario. I recommend she start a Rosa Parks type of protest, and get it to hurt the cell phone companies right in the pocketbook. She should throw out her cell phone, and encourage all friends and family members to do the same. I bet you she won't. I'm going to got out on a limb and assume Ms. Ebert has a cell phone, and enjoys using this technology.
Larry March 12, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Despite what others have said here, New Discovery has been a part of Kings Park for many years. It seems to me that it would a loss to KP if it were to go. Could a new rent agreement be arranged whereby the school district would still get some income (and by extension, district expenses would be lowered) and ND would pay less? Would that not be a win/win situation? And could someone explain to me what the connection to the cell tower is? Would the presence of a cell tower preclude the operation of a pre-school?
jennifer b March 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM
B.E.S.T learning center was next for for years and had to move. They did and are doing fine. What's the big deal?
mrmanyman March 21, 2012 at 09:39 PM
i believe it is as well

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