SUSD tables vote on child care until next meeting

The Saugus Union School District office. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Saugus Union School District governing board decided to table its discussion on child care until its next board meeting Oct. 27. 

The discussion revolves around temporarily ending the district’s tuition-based Child Development Program due to revenue challenges. The program has been offered to the community for the last two decades, according to district Superintendent Colleen Hawkins.

“Because of restrictions from (COVID-19), we’ve been struggling to maintain the program,” said Hawkins earlier this week. “The program is funded through a reserve, which is built on the fees that parents pay — it doesn’t run on any state or federal funds.”

The program, which Hawkins said would have about 3,500 children enrolled in an average year, now has only 207 enrolled, which is causing a major revenue shortfall.

The program, Hawkins said, costs the district $250,000 a month to operate; but the tuition revenue is only approximately $85,000 a month. 

If approved by the governing board, the program would conclude at the end in December, and employees, including activities leaders and site supervisors, would be laid off at that time.

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