Mini University, Inc. Home Office
115 Harbert Drive
Beavercreek, Ohio 45440
Toll Free: (877) 429.9400
Phone: (937) 426.1414
Fax: (937) 426.5650
Throughout the past 2 weeks we have relayed the facts of the COVID-19 impact on child care. There has been constant change and unfortunately last night was no different. I never anticipated the news I received this week, and instead of sharing new procedures we were prepared to put in place for tomorrow, I must announce the temporary closure of the center effective at 6pm tonight (Wednesday, March 25, 2020).
Mini University has worked hard to balance the needs of our workforce and the families we serve. I understand this news is unexpected and tomorrow should have been our first day operating as a pandemic child care center. I attempted to create an alternate plan that was just not possible for everyone involved. If you would like to understand more about how we arrived at this decision, take a few deep breaths and read on:
- Last week in response to closing K-12 and the increased demand for school age care, the state expanded ratios. They also committed to paying in full for anyone attending a pandemic child care center, and asked providers to apply for a new license to stay open when the Governor closed all other centers. We were excited to continue care for your children and support your family. We know this pandemic has also been stressful on all of you.
- This week the state mandated group sizes of no more than 6 and significantly lowered every ratio. They also “took back” their promise to pay. We applied in part because the state committed to pay for every essential family using a pandemic center. Here are the state’s responses to the question, “How will the pandemic child care center be paid?
- March 18-22: The pandemic child care center will be paid through an agreement with ODJFS.
- March 23-24: The pandemic child care center will be paid through an agreement with ODJFS for care provided to children determined eligible for publicly funded child care.
- Last night the state lowered the infant ratio again and confirmed they will not pay any of these increased costs.
- Mini U committed to paying our hourly staff “time and a half” to show them the respect they deserve for working during this crisis. This has been very stressful for many of our teachers who have worried about the “stay at home” message each day from our Governor and the “come to work” message from Mini U. We honor our team and respect their decisions to care for themselves and their family.
We were prepared with teachers and leaders from our other centers to work alongside members of the Valley’s School Family. It is disappointing for all of us to shut down today. The most recent information we have from the state is that pandemic centers will operate from March 26 – April 30, 2020.
The first page of the most recent communication to providers outlines many of the things I’ve described above and will be available to families at pick up. It can also be accessed here:
Many other providers are in a similar situation as Mini University, so please be aware the list of approved pandemic centers will change frequently over the next few days. Information for families is available at:
We wish you and your family well during this transition. We promise to share resources and stay connected during the temporary closure, and we hope you stay healthy and well. The Mini University leadership team and I will be available on-site at the center when you pick up later today. For those families who are employed by Miami Valley Hospital, there will also be a hospital representative on-site beginning at 5:00pm to discuss other community options for child care and answer any questions you may have.
Please let us know how we can support your family and reach out to Nicole Myrick or me with any questions or concerns.
Julie A. Thorner
Mini University, Inc.