We wanted to highlight some of the churches in our diocese who have had successful ministries to their community, so here’s an article from Ruth and George about the day care that’s been organized by St. Clement’s in Woodlake for over 40 years now.
Written by: Ruth Maskal Powers, Day Care Director; George Kulick, Day Care Board Chairperson
Since 1980, St Clement of Alexandra Anglican Church has operated a successful day care and preschool in Woodlake, California. In some cases, our newest little attendees represent the third generation of a family to attend St. Clement’s Day Care. Our purpose is to continue a tradition of Christian education by sharing God’s love, and encouraging children and families as they travel their life paths of belief, faith, meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.
St Clements offers a year-round, developmentally appropriate preschool for ages 2-6 that is designed to explore wide areas of interest and provide kindergarten readiness; and an after-school program for grades K-3, that includes homework assistance. Both programs are open to any child who meets the pre-admission requirements, regardless of race, ethnicity, social status, or religious affiliation. Our very competitive $30 daily tuition fee includes breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack; which has proved to be very popular with working parents and isn’t offered at many day care facilities.
The day care began in the church’s original Sunday school rooms. After several years of operation, the church embarked on a construction project to build a dedicated day care space. This space has served the operation well, along with a large fenced and well-appointed play area to meet our capacity of up to 40 children.
The day care was forced to cease operation from March to June of 2020 during the pandemic. The day care board of directors, prayerfully decided to continue with staff salaries during this shut down period, realizing that maintaining the capable and trained staff of 5, was essential for the long term operation of the day care. It was also a hidden blessing, as the staff was able to take the time to reorganize, sort out, and generally refresh the day care interior with new carpets, painted cabinets, and better organization; something difficult to do with full daily attendance.
The pandemic has affected attendance. Current enrollment is at about 26 children, but the numbers are increasing once again. Staff has worked to reimagine the food services, opting to purchase locally and seasonally, and they’ve worked diligently to adhere to all covid related rules established by the state with good results; including maintaining appropriately sized cohorts of children with separate staff oversight. With the support of many prayers and God’s help, we will continue to climb out of this Covid hole.
St. Clement’s Preschool and Day Care remains an active part of Woodlake and surrounding communities. We look forward to the next generation of children to walk through our doors as they begin their individual journeys in learning, living and loving.