As these are trying times for us, and our community, there are numerous groups of people who are heading out, per their daily routine, and working, so that many of us can remain safe within our homes. Nurses are working around the clock taking care of their patients. Police officers are patrolling our communities and keeping us safe. Even those who work at grocery stores and warehouses, are going in early and staying late, to ensure that community members have stocked items for their homes. Everyone who is part of the “frontline” of this pandemic or considered “essential” during this time are giving their 200% for their community members.
But there is one small group which is going unnoticed: early educators. There has been an ongoing discussion for several weeks now, as to whether or not childcare centers in New Jersey should be mandated to close or remain open for these essential workers. As of recent news from Governor Murphy, childcare centers would be allowed to remain open, but only if they serve “essential workers.”
However, anyone who has worked in a small business understands that nobody can survive on just a handful of customers or clients. It’s a group effort which keeps everyone whole. And at Ellie’s Academy, in Somerville, NJ, this is their current situation.
“We have families that are doctors, nurses, police officers, and many other essential workers who are helping during this pandemic,” says Tirusha Dave, the director of Ellie’s Academy. “However, because of the new state order, we are only allowed to care for the children of these essential people.”
Tirusha continues, “We did this because we understand how important early educators are during this critical moment. It was the teachers who came forth and said they don’t want to shut out our families who need us the most right now.”
But with only a limited number of children allowed in the building, overhead, expenses, and sustainability are still in question. It’s for that reason that they started the small business relief fund via GoFundMe, in order to keep their teachers whole and their building up and running.
“We are unsure how long this order will be in place, but as long as we’re up and running, we want to ensure that our school still exists, and the same teachers continue to work here once this pandemic is over,” explains Tirusha.
We’ve seen how the community has come together for other small businesses who have been affected during this time. We request that you consider making a small donation – any donation – to Ellie’s Academy in this time of need. Tirusha is correct when she says, “Early educators are truly the lifeline between parents who are working the frontline and their children.”
Visit Ellie's Academy GoFundMe page