BACKGROUND: In the fall of 2020 the Haddonfield Child Care (HCC) was forced to close due to pandemic-related financial infeasibility after 37 years of providing childcare services to working parents of kindergarteners in half-day sessions. For the last seven of those years the HCC operated out of classroom spaces on the first and third floors of Our Savior when the Haddonfield School District could no longer accommodate them space in any of their buildings, which has been a blessing to both HCC and LCOS during that time.
With the “death” of the HCC there is also a “resurrection” opportunity for Our Savior to take up the torch of this childcare ministry in the next year so that working parents might have a place for their children to experience both excellent childcare and educational enrichment during the school year and when it is not in session.
A Childcare Steering Committee was formed in November of both former HCC staff and prior Board members as well as members of Our Savior to create the business plan for the childcare under a new 501(c)3 that would enable the existing HCC physical resources to be donated to this new childcare rather than purchasing new.
CHILDCARE MINISTRY /MISSION PROPOSAL & OBJECTIVES:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Haddonfield will establish a separate 501(c)3 childcare minis tty for working parents in Haddonfield and surrounding boroughs with the following two objectives:
- Provide wrap-around kindergarten childcare and enrichment classes for kindergartners in Haddonfield, initially, and if possible to Haddon Heights and Haddon Township as capacity allows.
- Provide childcare for Kindergarten through Grade 5 during non-school operation holidays and summer months.
NAME: Mustard Seed Community Childcare at Our Savior (!vISCCOS). The name is unique to the area and reflects the childcare’s Christian affiliation from Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed being the smallest of seeds that grow into the greatest of shrubs that is beneficial to the surrounding environment. The potential tagline might be, “NURTURING THE
SNIAILEST INTO GREATNESS.”
MISSION STATEMENT: “Providing a safe, creative, and nurturing community for children to explore and expand in body and mind, heart and soul.”
MINISTRY /MISSION PARAMETERS:
- INSURANCE/LIABILITY: MSCCOS will be added to LCOS’s current insurance policy with Brotherhood Mutual for full coverage under the provision in MSCCOS’s business plan that the Congregation Council has the authority to terminate business operations if deemed necessary or if operation puts the ministry of LCOS at risk.
- FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: MSCCOS would be financially self-sufficient and not seek financial support from the congregation’s annual General Fund for ministry. It would also contribute proportionately toward building utility expenses.
- HOURS OF OPERATION: Hours of operation would be two sessions from 7:30-Noon and Noon-6:00 or similarly during the summer months of childcare.
- BUILDING USAGE: The entire third floor would be used for sessions during the school year with other parts used as needed in the summer months.
- ENROLLMENT & STUDENT TO ADULT RATIO: There will a ten student to one adult ratio for the potential of 40 students per session (totaling 80 students/ day) in the kindergarten wrap-around childcare. The summer childcare enrollment can be greater.
- COLLABORATION POTENTIAL: The MSCCOS Director and Our Savior’s Director of Youth and Family Ministry would collaborate on how both ministries might work in concert with respect to both the use of physical space as well as supporting the mission of both areas of ministry.
There would be a $10,000 loan from the Youth Ministry Programs Dedicated Fund that exists from a bequest designated for youth and children’s ministry. Additional funding would come from fundraising efforts to both raise capital for startup costs as well as promote community awareness of the renewed quality childcare under the new name and management of LCOS. Additionally, with summer childcare and new school year signups beginning as early as late February there are sufficient funds anticipated for the first six months before regular tuition payments begin to cover regular operating expenses.
WHY NOW? WHY OUR SAVIOR?
The physical assets of the Haddonfield Child Care are currently on the premises, but can only be donated to an institution with a similar mission to that of HCC for tax purposes. The resources cannot simply be donated to another 501(c)3. When we promise to “serve the needs of all people following the example of Jesus” in our baptismal promises that means when the opportunity to serve presents itself we ought to consider how we might respond as Jesus would. The reason for “why now” is because if we do not establish one before mid-April those resources must be donated or dissolved according to HCC’s documents of dissolution. If we were to delay and start a childcare at a later date we would need to purchase all the materials currently on location at Our Savior.