Kaleidoscope fills a need | Letter

I wanted to take a moment to respond to the article “New study released on low-income households in San Juan County” published Jan. 27. In the childcare section, it is stated that providers offer limited hours, limited options for children with special needs, pause Preschool services in the summer, and do not offer affordable infant/child care. While it is true that these are challenges that many families in this county face, I want to point out that Kaleidoscope Preschool and Child Care on Orcas Island is doing all of these things, and more!

Kaleidoscope is proud to offer full time child care and preschool services for infant, toddler, preschool, and school age children. Hours of operation are between 7:30am and 6:00pm, Monday thru Friday. Attendance is flexible, based on parents’ work schedules, up to 50 hours per week. This helps to keep childcare affordable, so that instead of paying for a half or full day session, parents only need pay for the time that they need. Beyond the child care services offered, Kaleidoscope also offers extended day ECEAP services to preschool families who qualify (based on ECEAP standards). Preschool is offered year-round, 50 hours per week, FREE to those 15 families.

The mission of Kaleidoscope is to offer safe, affordable, consistent, high-quality preschool and child care services while supporting the families of Orcas Island. For many of those working families, this includes services such as vaccine clinics and other health services, and referrals to resources in the community, including IEP and IFSP services for developmental concerns.

I do understand that there are countless challenges that working families face in San Juan County. I want those families to know that Kaleidoscope is working hard to help keep the workforce of the island strong by offering year-round, full time care at an affordable rate. Currently, the working parents at Kaleidoscope represent 54 unduplicated island employers, and over 80 percent of the children attend with some form of subsidy as determined by the family’s income. For anyone who would like to learn more, call 376-2484 or email kaleidoscope@centurytel.net.

Vala Ross

Kaleidoscope Assistant Director