• 77°

Day care registration nearing end

Mamie Martin Elementary School’s daycare program has more than 20 slots available with about a week and half to go before registration ends.

     A move by the Brookhaven school board to increase fees by $150 a month met with protests by parents, and board members ultimately approved a much lower fee increase. Mamie Martin Principal Rob McCreary wants to ensure parents realize the fee hikes originally proposed were not implemented.

     At the daycare program, 53 students are registered right now and McCreary said the program take up to 25 more children.

     As long as spots remain available, parents can register their children through Aug. 1. In years past, the daycare has been filled to capacity, which is up to about 100 spots. McCreary remains confident the remaining vacancies will fill up.

     “We usually have a rush right before school starts,” McCreary said.

     Pointing to this trend of a before-school registration spike, McCreary doesn’t believe the higher fees are depressing interest in the daycare.

     “We’re pretty comparable to other area programs,” McCreary said.

     The revised fees the board approved bumped up prices from $225 to $300 a month for the full program. The monthly cost of after-school care will move from $75 to $125. Annual registration fees are $50.

     The daycare program handles children from ages 3 and 4 up to those 5-year-olds not able to go into kindergarten.

     “We have a good education set up,” McCreary said. “The kids will be real prepared.”

     According to McCreary, the $225 fee had been in place for years without an increase.

     “The school district is not in it to make money,” McCreary said.

     A large fee spike at the daycare was approved by board members in February, drawing protests from parents at a subsequent board meeting. The board walked the fee increase back down in June.

     McCreary said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Karmacharya and the school board ultimately determined $300 as the absolute minimum point where the school could break even.

     McCreary said if the program does not register to capacity then costs will have to be revised to meet reduced revenue.

     “We’ll have to reconfigure some things with scheduling,” McCreary said. “We may have to start staggering hours with the staff so we have people working less hours.”

     Right now, there are two teachers in each class for a total of eight teachers during the day, McCreary said.

     Parents must come to the school to register for the program. To ask questions, parents should call the daycare directly at 601-833-0007 and ask for Dawn Fuller, McCreary said.

     The school’s main number is 601-833-7359.