Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Arcadia, CA  
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Sarah Circle Thursday, May 6 @ 7:00 PM
Sarah Circle Thursday, Jun 3 @ 7:00 PM

75th Anniversary of CGS!

Celebrating 75 Years of Christian Ministry and Mission


Through the Years . . . 

Children's Center Copes with the Pandemic


The Children’s Center has two quite different aspects: caring for the children and running the Center’s business. They go hand-in-hand. Both faced a new reality and new challenges just three months into a fateful year. And both fell to Linda Brown, director since 2007, and Cindy Ostry, office manager since 2007, to cope and succeed.


When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Center promptly closed on March 17, 2020. The Good Shepherd Foundation encouraged them to apply for a grant. This was approved, providing salaries for the staff to stay home and keep well for the two months before the Center was able to reopen on June 1. Even the resumption of classes took its toll on the budget—and the children—for enrollment was lighter as fewer parents opted to return their children to the Center just then.


Linda and Cindy became adept at seeking funding through grants. Six different grants came from various sources, including 2 from our Good Shepherd Foundation! The Children’s Center also received 2 paycheck protection program (PPP) Small Business Loan/Grants, 1 PPE grant from Options, and 1 LACDA grant from Los Angeles County.


Grants have kept them afloat, undergirding their ongoing finances, such as the usual overhead and salaries. But pandemic-specific supplies also needed to be purchased: air purifiers for the classrooms, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, and Clorox wipes.


In addition to the business end of the Center was, of course, providing care for children. Before Covid-19 struck, the popular Center had wait-lists. Most sought after were spaces for infants and 2-year-olds; there was sometimes room for 4-year-olds. There’s not a wait-list now, but one may be necessary soon. Children have returned slowly, in an abundance of caution and as safety rules have become known. As parents have been able to return to their jobs, enrollment has grown now to 38. Linda says the Health Department regulations now allow up to 48 children in our 4 operational classrooms. It’s an ever-changing rule as we move through the pandemic.


Let’s not forget another important and essential facet of this scenario of the Center’s operation: the teachers! Without their unfailing dedication and affection for the children, there would be no Children’s Center as we know it. Teachers are paid modestly, but they love their jobs of caring for the children. No medical benefits are provided, but they can get insurance privately and somewhat reasonably through Covered California. They do enjoy, however, some perks—a week of sick leave, paid major holidays, and 2 weeks of vacation after working 2 years. And, since the children have time off over the Christmas season, staff can also be home with their own families at that time.


While the months of pandemic restrictions have proven challenging at the Children’s Center, as elsewhere, everyone involved there has risen to that challenge with grace and faith. It promises to continue to be part of the history of our church through the coming years.


400 W. Duarte Rd Arcadia, CA 91007      [email protected]      (626) 447-2181
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