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St. Michael-Albertville School Board, Daycare Provider to Discuss Just4Kids

In a reprise from an argument Nancy Pelletier brought to the board of education three years ago, the longtime provider and business owner is challenging the school district's child care programs.

Nancy Pelletier, owner of ABC Childcare, will once again challenge the St. Michael-Albertville School District's preschool and pre-kindergartn program, Just4Kids, when she approaches the St. Michael-Albertville School Board at tonight's final meeting of 2012. 

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. at St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West (use Door A), will be held in the board's meeting room. 

Pelletier told the Crow River News last week that she's concerned the Just4Kids program is driving away private business in the community, contributing to her drop in enrollment for 4 and 5-year-old children and probably shutting down Especially for Kids in the Albertville business sector. 

In that vein, she's reprisng her argument that school districts should not be in competition with private sector businesses when it comes to providing childcare. 

In his rebuttal, Dr. James Behle told the newspaper "most" surrounding school districts offer some sort of Pre-K programming, as do private schools such as St. Michael Catholic School  (which opened its preschool in the home of two former small businesses this year) and Salem Lutheran School in Hanover. 

A quick look at the area shows Monticello offers KC Preschool and Buffalo School District offers Little Kid Kare, both organized through community education offices in those districts. 

Behle told the newspaper he believes a drop in the number of 4 and 5-year-old kids, according districtwide census data, could be the culprit for the drop in local preschool enrollments. 

The board rejected Pelletier's request to end its program back in 2009. 

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Mike Schoemer December 31, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Not to take a side but to foster conversation: Aren't people who run in-home daycares using the same sort of "resources?" They live there. They get government assistance via food programs (some) and they take in a pretty decent income. Seems somewhat similar on the surface, doesn't it?
JS December 31, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Regarding Mike's last comment - the preschools in the churches also receive "subsidies" from the churches that they "rent" from - they also do not incur the same expenses as if they were a "stand alone" operation.
Al Anderson December 31, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Questions for some of you 1) Is ABC a standalone business that gets special taxpayer funded anything? 2) Does ABC pay federal, state, property taxes? Does the J4Kids program pay federal, state and property taxes? 3) Why isnt the J4Kids program being run (wherever it is run) by a private entity? 4) What is the proper role of government?
Sara December 31, 2012 at 06:59 PM
According to a post by Happee Hollie in another article's comment section on this same topic, she has a wait list of 30 families for her program. Maybe ABC childcare is looking at the wrong program to blame. Or better yet, maybe Hollie could refer some of those families to her fellow private business owners, like ABC, who needs families.
Sara December 31, 2012 at 08:29 PM
According to both programs websites: ABC Childcare costs $170 a week, includes lunch and 10 hours a day of care. Just4kids costs $175 which does not include lunch costs. So I am confused as to how the cost is hurting centers?

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