District to keep Tiger Cub Child Care open through end of 2024-25 school year

Published 8:33 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Plans to explore long-term plan for child care with other stakeholders

The Albert Lea school district on Tuesday announced the Tiger Cub Child Care Center will remain open through the end of the 2024-25 school year instead of closing this spring as announced in January.

Albert Lea Community Education Executive Director John Double said this spring the district will recreate a working committee of city, county, school district, school board and parent/guardian representatives to work on a long-term plan for child care in Freeborn County.

“We will also be engaging our community on solutions to the ongoing deficit operation of the Tiger Cub Child Care with a sustainability plan for the future years that must not show a net loss,” Double said.

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The announcement comes after a group of teachers and the Albert Lea Education Association urged the district a week ago at the Albert Lea school board meeting to keep the center open, noting specifically the importance of the child care center for teacher retention and concerns about a child care shortage in the community. They also argued they felt there had been a lack of due diligence in the process leading to the announcement about the closure.

Double in January said the center would be closing at the end of the school year because of increasing revenue-expense shortfalls.

The child care center is on the first floor of Brookside Education Center and has been open since the spring of 2020.

It is licensed to serve up to 44 children at a time, and district officials have said about half of the children served are children of district staff, while the other half are children of other families in the community.