FREEHOLD, NJ – Flashback to March 2020 when a full shutdown was mandated due to the pandemic. LADACIN Network’s Give and Take Childcare was scrambling to figure out how its teaching staff could continue to support families even though they could no longer be together physically.
The nonprofit provides support and services for individuals with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities, in addition to an integrated child care center which serves typically developing children and children with special needs.
Due to decreased enrollment and COVID related costs, revenues were impacted and staff retention was paramount in order to
LADACIN’s Executive Director Patricia Carlesimo knew exactly where to turn: the Monmouth ACTS network – specifically the Early Childhood Success Hub whose goal is for all children to age 8 to be safe, healthy and ready to learn. Carlesimo serves on the Hub and MAAC Executive Committee and contacted fellow Hub and MAAC Executive Committee member Kim Perrelli, executive director, Child Care Resources (CCR) of Monmouth County, to make her aware of LADACIN’s situation.
Through a partnership with CCR and Monmouth ACTS, a solution was secured.
“Our voice was heard,” says Carlesimo, and thanks to Kim and CCR, they provided supplemental funding that literally kept us alive during the pandemic.”
“These have been devastating times for child care. I am so pleased that the line of communication existed for our organization to be able to share its expertise where it was most needed in the community,” said Kim Perrelli, Executive Director, Child Care Resources.
During the state mandated closure, LADACIN Network implemented Class Dojo. The platform creates a positive culture, gives students a voice and enables LADACIN staff to share learning moments with parents. Through Class Dojo, teachers can post pictures and videos from the day, along with private messaging to give families feedback and tips on how to support their child’s learning at home.
When Give and Take Child Care re-opened, there was a need to increase its broadband and institute a platform to guarantee children in their care would have consistent access to technology, and to stay in communication with families. By using these tools, LADACIN was able to bridge the gap between the children’s district classroom and the parents as their child’s learning facilitators. The technology not only helped children that LADACIN serves, but their siblings at home attending school virtually. Those parents couldn’t provide support for online school for the siblings (due to work), so LADACIN stepped in and opened up a class for remote learners with assigned staff for that classroom. LADACIN staff helped kids log on and guided them on assignments – serving as the link between the district and parents.
“This is yet another great example of the spirit of Monmouth ACTS – helping nonprofits like LADACIN Network connect to resources to enable them to continue to fulfill their mission, despite the pandemic,” says Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley.
“It’s critical for local government and organizations to continue to work together to address challenges faced by Monmouth County residents,” says Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone.
To learn more about Monmouth ACTS, visit www.monmouthACTS.org.
About Monmouth ACTS
Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) was launched by the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners in 2019 to carry out recommendations of a Human Services Needs Assessment. This innovative public-private partnership brings together County employees from the Department of Human Services and community partners on the Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council (MAAC) to enhance access to services for County residents. For more information, visit www.monmouthACTS.org.