Kachemak Kids center announces it’s closing

Kachemak Kids Early Learning Center, will close as of July 31, the board of directors announced this week in letters to the editor of both of Homer’s weekly newspapers.

 Current director Chelsea White confirmed the closure, but referred questions to Lolita Brache, president of the board. White is expecting a child soon and will be going on maternity leave. She referred further questions to Brache, but Brache in an email and phone call said she did not want to discuss the closure further.

In its letter, the board cited several reasons for why the board voted to close.

“Over the years we have struggled to find a balance between charging tuition that is manageable for a working family while earning enough to pay professional wages for professional educators,” the letter said. “We have also found it very difficult to hire staff with the credentials required by state child care licensing. Ultimately, these difficulties have resulted in the need to close the center.”

White said Kachemak Kids had searched for five months to find a director but without success.

“It’s huge and terrible and really devastating for so many families,” said Susannah Webster, director of another child care facility, Smallpond. 

Kachemak Kids was founded in 2006 as part of a work group through the Child Advocacy Coalition of Homer. The group did a survey to determine child care needs and created a board of directors to seek funding for what it called Kachemak Kids. Kachemak Kids opened in August 2007. It has been located in leased space at Christian Community Church on Bartlett Street.

Child care facilities are licensed through the Child Care Program Office, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance. Lewis Watson, a licensing specialist with the Child Care Program, said the state licenses three kinds of facilities:

• Child care homes, serving up to eight children;

• Child care group homes, serving nine to 12 children; and

• Child care centers, serving 13 or more children.

Child care group homes must have a qualified administrator with at least one year of licensed home child care experience or 12 semester hours of college credit in early childhood development or a Child Development Associate credential or a Montessori certificate. Administrators of child care centers must have the college credit or Child Development Associate credential, Watson said.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

More in News

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

Thunder Mountain High School on April 18.  Earlier this fall, vandalism including stolen soap dispensers and toilets clogged with foreign objects such as paper towel rolls were a problem at schools nationwide and in Juneau. But, principals say the local situation is improving. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
After brief surge, vandalism subsiding at local high schools

Principals say internet trends, stress likely behind incidents.

In this Jan. 8, 2020, photo Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, heads to a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Alaska man faces federal charges after authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill Murkowski, according to court documents unsealed Wed., Oct. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite,File)
Delta Junction man faces charges over threatening Murkowski’s life

Authorities allege he threatened to hire an assassin to kill the senator.

Donna Aderhold recites the Homer City Council oath of office and is sworn in for duty at the city council meeting on Oct. 11. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
New council members sworn into duty Monday

Newly-elected Homer City Council members Shelly Erickson and Jason Davis and re-elected… Continue reading

Runners participate in boys varsity race at the Ted McKenney XC Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The trails recently reported incidents of vandalism and theft. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Vandalism and theft reported at Tsalteshi Trails

One trail user reported stolen skis recently and multiple signs have been defaced.

At left Bonita Banks, RN, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) nurse at Homer Medical Center, and at right, Annie Garay, RN, Community Health Educator, pose for a photo at South Peninsula Hospital on Sept. 27, 2021, at Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
New hospital community health educator starts

Garay, a Homer raised nurse, came home to ride out COVID-19, wound up doing pandemic nursing.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Montessori school goes to universal indoor masking

As of Tuesday, eight KPBSD schools were operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Crabbers look at cuts to quotas

Tanner, opilio crab quotas cut on top of cancellation of fall king crab fishery.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Judge sides with psychiatrists who alleged wrongful firing

Two psychiatrists said they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office.

Most Read