School system plans for opening of child care center

The Glynn County Board of Education heard more details Thursday about the new child care center that will serve district staff members.

Glynn Early Education Childcare, or GLEE, is set to be open for the next school year.

“It is an opportunity for us to be able to support our staff members in ensuring that their children have quality child care,” said Michele Seals, executive director of human resources for Glynn County Schools.

The school system will model its program after a similar child care program in Bryan County.

The decision to open the center follows a needs assessment completed last school year, as well as studies of tuition, registrations and salaries at local daycares, Seals said.

“Of course, the first year we will have to incur some costs in buying the things we need to get started, but we look to definitely be able to break even in the future,” she said. “This is not something where we’re trying to make money. We want to provide a service that will help our staff members.”

The child care program will be open to all county school employees and will serve children ages six weeks to three years old.

The program will be housed at FACES preschool and at Altama Elementary School.

Stephanie Thompson will be GLEE’s supervisor. Five teachers will staff each site.

Registration will cost $100, and the weekly rate will be $175.

“And staff members will not have to pay for weeks that we are not open,” Seals said. “For example, when we’re closed during Christmas time they don’t have to pay for those weeks — whereas typically in a traditional day care you have to pay in order to hold your child’s spot. And over the summer, their children will be home with them, so that will definitely make a difference.”

The school district is looking to hire staff for the child care center now. Staff will work on a 195-day calendar.

“We will be open during pre-planning and post-planning so that teachers will have daycare during that time,” Seals said.

Staff will work from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., and children will be served from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The waitlist for student registration is open now, Seals said.

In other business, the board heard an update on the district’s fiscal year 2024 budget, which will be voted on Tuesday but finalized later this summer, after final tax digest numbers are available.

Total estimated revenues in the budget exceed $273,449,000. Total expenditures are $278,534,600.

Mandated budget changes this year include state-required salary increases and rising health insurance costs. The school system also plans to cover the cost of new positions, athletic supplements and the new child care center.