Category Archives: Child.Care

Army seeks to expand public-private partnerships

Source: Andy Medici, Federal Times, October 28, 2013

The Army is looking to expand privatization efforts to nearly all commercial-like services, according to Army officials. Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, the Army’s top installations official, told a conference of the Association of the United States Army that the privatization of housing and utilities has been a success and the Army is looking to expand privatization efforts further. … He noted that the Army’s privatization of housing and utilities has been a success and said a likely next step is in-home child care within local communities. He said the Army will test various business models to make sure they work financially before rolling out something across all installations. Another candidate: dining halls. The Army is looking at issuing dining cards that could be used at its installations and at local restaurants, according to Army officials. …

Child center closures: Does nonprofit status provide a comparative advantage?

Source: Marcus Lam, Sacha Klein, Bridget Freisthler, Robert E. Weiss, Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 35, Issue 3, March 2013

From the abstract:
Reliable access to dependable, high quality childcare services is a vital concern for large numbers of American families. The childcare industry consists of private nonprofit, private for-profit, and governmental providers that differ along many dimensions, including quality, clientele served, and organizational stability. Nonprofit providers are theorized to provide higher quality services given comparative tax advantages, higher levels of consumer trust, and management by mission driven entrepreneurs. This study examines the influence of ownership structure, defined as nonprofit, for-profit sole proprietors, for-profit companies, and governmental centers, on organizational instability, defined as childcare center closures. Using a cross sectional data set of 15724 childcare licenses in California for 2007, we model the predicted closures of childcare centers as a function of ownership structure as well as center age and capacity. Findings indicate that for small centers (capacity of 30 or less) nonprofits are more likely to close, but for larger centers (capacity 30 +) nonprofits are less likely to close. This suggests that the comparative advantages available for nonprofit organizations may be better utilized by larger centers than by small centers. We consider the implications of our findings for parents, practitioners, and social policy.

Highlights:
► We model licensed childcare center closures by ownership structure, age and capacity. ► Older and larger nonprofits are more stable. ► Sole proprietors and governmental centers are more stable at small capacity. ► For-profit companies are more stable at large capacity. ► Organizational diversity is important to meet childcare needs.

Denver firm to run Head Start on interim basis as bids are considered

Source: Nolan Rosenkrans, Toledo Blade, April 11, 2013

A Denver company will run Head Start in Lucas County while the federal government conducts a second round of bids, a serious blow to the Toledo community action agency that currently runs the early childhood education program. …. When the grant ends, the Community Development Institute will serve as an interim provider while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services solicits local applicants for the grant. …. The end of EOPA’s grant will place the future of the agency’s more than 300 Head Start employees in flux. Employment with CDI is not guaranteed, according to its Web site, and all current Head Start workers will have to compete for jobs.

Pinellas sheriff proposes consolidated dispatch system

Source: Stephen Thompson, St. Petersburg Tribune, April 3, 2013

If you dial 911 in Pinellas County, a person answers your call in the basement of a building in downtown Clearwater, and, if a crime is involved, transfers your call to your local law enforcement agency, often many miles away. Then you have to tell your story all over again to a dispatcher, who sends out a police officer or deputy.

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is trying to do away with that redundancy by talking up a regional 911 communications system, with both 911 call takers and police dispatchers working together under one roof. Any municipality choosing to join the system including St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Pinellas Park and Largo would be giving up its police dispatch systems, and it’s far from a sure thing all, or any, of them will. Police dispatchers, working out of a city’s police station, are often seen as an integral part of the protection an agency provides….

Audit Finds Preschool Billed State Improperly

Source: David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, July 18, 2012

The owners of a fast-growing Queens company that teaches toddlers with disabilities took nearly $1.5 million from a public preschool program, paying themselves inflated salaries and rent, and billing the government for their cars, children’s furniture and even cosmetics, a state audit has found. The company’s owners, who were once married, also violated tax regulations, gave the wife’s sister a no-show job and wrongly billed the state for utility expenses incurred by a private day care business they operate on the side, investigators said….State records show that billings by the company, Bilingual SEIT and Preschool, based in Flushing, exploded over the last decade, to more than $15 million in the 2010-11 school year, from $808,935 in 2002-3. Most of its revenue comes from employing “special education itinerant teachers,” or SEITs, who work one-on-one with children in their homes or in nursery schools.

Janitors feel betrayed after city outsources their jobs

Source: Andrea Torres, Miami Herald, July 6, 2012

Related:
South Miami outsources janitors / Unionized city janitors have been replaced with an outside contractor
Source: Andrea Torres, Miami Herald, June 20, 2012

In what City Manager Hector Mirabile described as “quick and decisive action,” the city has laid off or fired at least five janitorial workers and given their work to an outside contractor… Commissioners said they were “not allowed” to discuss the “pending situation,” but they allowed Mirabile to enter into a retroactive month-to-month agreement with Able Business Services for $4,000 a month to clean city buildings on June 12…Mirabile was not at the meeting, but on a June 1 memo, he said staff estimated the annual savings for the city with the privatization at $160,000 a year. The amount can’t be determined until the city gets new proposals for a 3-year contract for janitorial services…

…The city needs services at City Hall, the police station, the Sylva Martin Central Services, the Community Center, Head Start, the Senior Center, the motor pool and Public Works Facilities. Able Business Services had the lowest bid at $4,000 a month. Kelly Janitorial Systems offered $4,587; TCB Complete Janitorial Services offered $6,812.75; Florida Cleanex offered $7,458.05 a month; and Integrity Janitorial Service offered $12,916.

Hillsborough County lays off 94 as commissioners hold line on taxes

Source: Jodie Tillman, St. Petersburg Times, September 23, 2011

Ninety-four Hillsborough County workers will get pink slips today after commissioners gave final approval Thursday to a budget that includes a nearly $50 million decrease in operations. Nearly 70 of those employees come from the Parks and Recreation Department, which took an $11 million hit. The new budget will farm out park maintenance to private contractors and begin turning over county after-school programs to community organizations.

One of the laid-off workers who couldn’t find another job with the county is Glenda Hoxit, 50, a parks landscaper. She showed up with dozens of other workers, many of them wearing the green T-shirts of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Hawai’i P-3 Initiative – Findings from the First Year of the Evaluation

Source: Gail L. Zellman, M. Rebecca Kilburn, RAND Corporation, 2011

From the summary:
Recent efforts to improve K-12 educational outcomes have had mixed success. One possible reason is that many students entering kindergarten lack the basic skills to succeed in school. In 2007, with support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Hawai’i launched its P-3 (preschool through third-grade) initiative, the early childhood component of the state’s P-20 (preschool through higher-education) work. The initiative is overseen by the P-20 Partnerships for Education, housed at the University of Hawai’i, and its goal is for every child in the state to read at grade level by third grade. The first year of RAND’s multiyear evaluation of the P-3 initiative examined plans, activities, and policy in two demonstration sites and at the P-20 level. The focus was on identifying and developing measures to assess progress and determining how the system underlying P-3 monitors, incentivizes, and supports efforts to promote early literacy. The evaluation team worked with the two demonstration sites and the P-20 team to refine logic models that will help identify measures to assess P-3 implementation and progress. The findings are organized according to seven focus areas and rely, in part, on a five-component systems-change framework intended to help align ongoing efforts and promote the goals of the individual sites and the P-20 partnership.

Private contracts pushed at conference sponsored by Jacksonville companies

Source: Matt Dixon, Jacksonville.com, July 4, 2011

Looking to cut costs in 2000, the city of Pembroke Pines signed a contract with Jacksonville-based The Haskell Co. to outsource work in 22 city departments.

Nine years later, Haskell asked the city to give that contract to a St. Augustine-based firm owned by a longtime Haskell project director who had recently left the company. During a non-public meeting, commissioners voted 3-2 to assign the contract to the company, which had been in existence for 12 days.

The assignment to Facility Contract Services saved $150,000 annually, city records show. The contract is now worth $650,000 per month, and 218 of owner Shawn Hiester’s workers are employed in areas ranging from the utility department to city-run preschools.

Plantation To Run Camps Again; After Unsuccessful Outsourcing Last Year, City To Operate Summer Camps

Source: Christiana Lilly, Sun-Sentinel, April 3, 2011

Plantation will again take over operation of its summer camps after outsourcing them last year. “We were just getting a lot of concerns from the public about the quality of the camp, and the kids were not enjoying it as they had in the past, and they’re our customers,” said Jim Romano, director of the city’s parks department. Plantation hired Sunshine Child Programs to run the camps last year, and officials said the city would resume operation if parents were not satisfied….Nancy Murphy signed up her daughter for the camp last year and said she began having concerns at the information session. Parents said fliers misrepresented what they were paying for, and different activities were only available for an extra charge….
Related:
Plantation returning to city-run summer camp
Source: Christiana Lilly, Sun-Sentinel, March 30, 2011

After unsuccessfully trying to outsource its summer camp, Plantation will go back to running it on its own this year.

“We were just getting a lot of concerns from the public about the quality of the camp, and the kids were not enjoying it as they had in the past, and they’re our customers,” said Jim Romano, director of Plantation’s Parks and Recreation Department.

The price will not change from when Sunshine Day Care ran the camps last year. The Adventure Camp at Central Park for Plantation children ages 12 to 14 is $1,080 for eight weeks and $560 for four weeks. The Day Camp for Plantation children 5 to 11 at Volunteer Park, Central Park and the Community Center is $880 for eight weeks and $460 for four weeks.