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School district will accept childcare changes, pending legal consultation

Original post made on Mar 8, 2012

At its next meeting, SRVUSD's Board of Education will vote to determine whether or not to accept changes to on-site childcare providers at three elementary schools. Following a selection and lease re-evaluation process several [Web Link parents consider flawed], parent Dan Forest suggested that the school district may have violated the Brown Act.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 11:03 PM

Comments (48)

Posted by Matthew
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:48 am

The school board's job is to make sure that the right decisions are made on behalf of the students and parents. Instead, they consistently go along with "staff" recommendations especially in areas that they have no knowledge. They demonstrated last night that they know absolutely nothing about Child Care. Two very fundamental and basic issues were ignored that should have alarmed them to do their job as board members:

1. They are allowing a provider that is on probation with the State of California to be rewarded with more schools.
2. They are allowing a provider who is in bankruptcy to be rewarded with another school.

Why would they endorse these two companies? It is because the school district has a socialist agenda and they believe that free enterprise should not be part of their system. The Growing Room has proven themselves as the best provider with the best people, curriculum and management. Because they run their business so well (and are the only profitable provider), they are being penalized by the "looters." This is unjust and unAmerican and we shouldn't stand for it.

Posted by Newton
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

I have spoken to other parents using The Growing Room, looked at all three provider's website (The Growing Room, Kids Country, and YMCA ) and have even visited all three providers facilities. Overall I would say there is no comparison. The Growing Room shines. Take a look at The Growing Room website at Web Link you will agree. Something doesn't smell right about this whole deal even going back to why The Growing Room leases were not renewed in 2008. If they had been renewed this would not be an issue until 2018. Whoever was on the committees was influenced by something other than what The Growing Room presents and was started years ago. Matthew may be on to something.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

I attended the school board joke of a meeting the other night and was insulted by the board members who said they care for each and every student in the school district. Don't you dare tell us you care. They didn't care about my daughter last year when we had a major safety issue with Kids' Country and reported them to the State.

I wrote to EACH board member to personally let them know what happened to my daughter at a Kids' Country site (which ultimately resulted in the 5th Level A violation for the company) I NEVER heard back from ONE of the board members OR Mr. Enoch. Yes, that's real care and concern for our children.

I wholeheartedly agree with Matt. I cannot imagine why a company with so many Level A violations AND on probation at 4 schools would even be allowed to bid on MORE locations! Where is the logic, care and concern in that poor choice?

Additionally, the fact that the woman who ran the survey cannot even answer questions as to the validity of the survey and the entire process is appalling. This should be an embarrassment to the Board to be honest and we deserve better.

My real question is who made the decision as to how the "committees" would work, how the members were chosen and the justification for who the ultimate decision makers are/were? The fact that a panel of a few people representing hundreds of families with their children's well being at risk is also mind blowing. That's where this debacle began.

Learn a lesson from other good organizations school board members and do what your CUSTOMERS want. Actually LISTEN to your customers- The parents and students. Admit the process was flawed and do it over. Apologize for the lack of transparency and validity. Be sincere and start the process again. It's the right thing to do, clearly.

It was also infuriating to hear a board member scold a GR employee for telling a child that the GR may not be there next year. For supposedly "scaring" him or her. Give me a break. Don't underestimate the comprehension of our children and their ability to "get it".

In the end a few people made the decision on behalf of the masses. NOT OK. We teach out children to admit when they are wrong and apologize. Do the same board members. Wake up and stop being so defensive.

Posted by Jeannette
a resident of Tassajara Hills Elementary School
on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I also attended the board meeting and was shocked at how rude some of the growing room parents and staff were to the board and the SRVUSD employees who were present. They displayed a gang mentality and attacked the process,which was clearly outlined by the school district staff and Mr. Enoch. These fine people who volunteered their time to review and make a recommendation to the board are our neighbors and possibly our friends who should be respected.
The fact that 4 Growing Room sites were up for renewal and only one of them was selected, indicates to me that we will probably be getting a better provider. I look forward to trying out Kids Country next year.

Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

The thing that none of us will ever really know about is what is going on behind the scenes. I have never used either so have no skin in the game, but I have no doubt that money is the driving factor with this whole mess. I fully believe Hurd, Enoch and the rest of them are probably getting some kind of kick back from Kids' Country, but had to go through this sham process in order to make it look kosher. The board does not look out for the best interests of our children with the providers they chose for them. Just look at the change from our old food provider to Chartwell's. My daughter can't stomach the food Diablo Vista is now serving. It is all about money, folks, and what is best for our narcissistic board members and their pockets. Rachel Hurd shouldn't even be on the board trying to tell us what is best for our children after the drinking incident with her son. That is complete hypocrisy!!

Posted by Kevin
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Since Jeannette feels the need to re-post from her other posts, I will do the same. First though, Douglas, you hit it as did Fern. Something is not right here. Clearly, someone is getting paid, or has pictures, or something else. Jeannette - I am neither a staff member nor do I have any children in GR. I was there because I saw a gross negligence in ignoring serious violations at KC. Past behaviors predict future performance, that is quite a pattern if you ask me. Five of the highest level violations the state can possibly give. I feel for the parents. I would be angry too. This is critical for working parents. We are trusting organization with our most precious thing in life. The explanation by the person who sent out the emails, was able to read from a PowerPoint presentation. When presented with tough questions, she could not answer them. When asked specific questions about the process, she could not answer them. There are too many holes in that process and in the manner in which the board is looking at this. One of the committee members themselves said the process was flawed. The principal at GV had to find, ONE volunteer. The rest were all hand picked. In my opinion PTA members, etc. are too involved in the politics of schools to be involved in this magnitude of a decision. In regard to Mr. Enoch's comments, how do we know? Those sessions, interviews, results of the interviews, etc. were held behind closed doors and the public was not allowed to hear, see or anything. That is wrong. If I conducted RFPs and questionnaires like this committee and board did, I would be fired at my job. That is exactly what I plan to do with this board, fire them.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hurd was the member claiming to be SO incredibly caring about our children. And SHE was offended that the parents were so angry about the process.Unbelievable.

Good luck with KC Jeanette. Don't count on getting a better provider. I say that based on having experienced BOTH providers in 2010-2011. We used GR for 5 months after using KC and having a terrible time with KC and all of their safety issues which directly impacted our family.

I can absolutely say GR is head and shoulders over KC. From staff to professionalism to the programs they offer. Our daughter no longer goes to GR or KC by the way so I have no vested interest in either Co. I do however have a vested interest in the safety and security of the children in our community.

I can understand having an open mind but would absolutely refuse to allow such a teensy, tiny team of people to make such a gigantic decision on my behalf or my child's behalf.

No thanks. I'm certain that Douglas is right sad.

Posted by Itsallonline
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

The tax returns of non-profit corporations are public information and available from the IRS and at The RFP asked for executive salaries. This is the information from The GR 2010 tax return, Pages 7 and 29.

Title Name Annual Salary Relation to James Larson
Pres JL $242,100
VP DL $137,885 Brother
VP LR $124,383* Sister
Secr JL $146,567* Sister
ExecDir KL $142,096 ?

*It should be noted that both LR and JL only work 32 hours per week for the salaries listed above. The 40-hour week equivalent salaries would be $155,479 for LR and $183,209 for JL.

Is is just me or do these salaries seem ridiculous? These 5 salaries represent 23% of sales and are in great excess of industry norms. Is this the best use of parent tuition?

As a comparison, the SRVUSD Superintendent of Schools, Steve Enoch makes $237,333 per year. Should the president of a school-age program that operates 6 sites (serving less than 600 students each day for a few hours) make more than the superintendent of a district managing 35 schools serving over 29,000 students and 2,500 staff daily?

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I don't understand why a committee with this type of task had only 2 of the 5 parents appointed that were using the services of the programs in question. It seems to me that those whose opinions matter most, would be those with a vested interest in the outcome.

Good luck to the parents and kids. Finding care for your children that you know is safe and nurturing and having that threatened is really stressful. Hang in there!

Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hey itsallonline-

You really don't know how to run comparisons, do you? You have to compare apples to apples. For instance, you need to compare GR execs to KC execs, not to Enoch (and yes, he is overpaid for his job.) You could also compare tuition rates and would find the GR is less expensive than KC. To make the correct comparison for Enoch, why don't we head to Dublin and see that Dr. Stephen Hanke only makes $206,211 for the same job. I am sure he would love the $20,000+ bump in his salary also to be in a better district. Give me a break!!!

Posted by Laryne
a resident of Danville
on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm

To itsallonline---

Don't those salaries show that The Growing Room is good at managing their finances, while the rumor is that YMCA is going bankrupt and KC prices are higher and they pay their teachers less. The Growing Room's program is awesome and they aren't on probation for serious violations.

Posted by Dan
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Wow, the salaries of the Growing Room folks is a little stunning! Considering that most of those salaries go to one family maybe that explains why they fighting so hard and trying to rally ( and scaring) parents? Are we being used?

It seems that they had a chance to keep their schools or even gain additional ones. Between their salaries and the fact they lost out on three schools I am starting to rethink this whole issue.

Posted by Julie
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Just read Dan's comment. Seriously, if the GR is doing a good job, keeping children safe, providing a good program do you really care if they are family run? Why would it make a difference to you if 4 brothers and sisters are being paid rather than four friends or colleagues? If they're providing good service, what difference does their familial relationship make. Actually, in a way, I like the idea of a family run business. If a father and son do your plumbing do you think you should pay them less because they're related?

As for whether their salaries are why they're fighting to keep their schools, I'm sure that matters to them, but I doubt family has anything to do with it. Have you seen this family. They all look like they're over 50, so I doubt very much their salaries are just supporting one household!

And your final comment that they're trying to scare parents. They don't have to scare parents. Parents should be scared without the GR doing or saying anything because their new providers have either lost kids and have Type A violations or they're saying they're declaring bankruptcy.

Think again. You were on the right track with this whole thing in the first place.

Posted by Maggie
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

My kids attend Hidden Hills and both go to The Growing Room. The Hidden Hills lease is not up for review right now. However,based on what I've been reading, and people I've been talking to, if our daycare was being changed from TGR to Kids Country, I'd have to find alternate care. I'm not trusting my kids to a company with a culture that allows five serious safety violations leading to probation. Period. The school board needs to quit hiding behind its committees and show some leadership.

Posted by Lee
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Interesting that IRS Form 990 for Kid's Country for the year 2010 is not available anywhere, even on Guidestar. Why wasn't a comparison of financials for all three companies on the questions asked of the proposed providers so that they could respond to that question. That would have been a way to determine whether salaries were competitive and why they were what they were. Good questions to ask are, What are your Administrative Salaries? What is the job description? Did you use the services of a compensation consultant to compare other salaries with the same job description. In my capacity as a compensation analyst doing salary surveys I find that small business managers/families who run businesses do many more jobs than just the one listed - such as maintaining buildings, upgrading and building, curriculum, accounting, etc. If the Steering Committee had been able to ask these questions, they might have been able to compare Kid's Country expenses and found that their total expenses were much higher in those areas. Hard to imagine Erbe out painting and fixing water heaters and sewage problems at midnight. Those of you who have small businesses know what I mean. A company who can offer lower costs and higher quality like The Growing Room should not be compared by the Administration salaries until the questions can be asked directly of them.

Posted by Matthew
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm

itsallonline, thank you for validating my comment, which was the very first post on this thread. You are a "looter." You are the "99." My guess is that you are a district employee or a committee member who was influenced by the district socialist agenda. It offends you that good business people are successful. It infuriates you that people are paid well for their hard work and sacrifices. You don't understand what it takes to build and run a business, so you think it should be taken away from those that do. You deserve that money because you paid for a really great and valuable product that individuals gets rewarded for. Those profits should go back the the "system", right? Dangerous thinking for an American.

Your comparison to Enoch's lofty salary is flawed because he didn't build. He didn't risk anything. The best system is the one that rewards the builders.

You have no basis to be insightful. A one year summary of salaries is meaningless. You have no idea how many years of building it may have taken for these people to reach the success that they enjoy. The great thing about builders is that we all get to enjoy their products. Once they are removed, quality goes down for everyone else. You'll see.

PS- you should read the book 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand.

Posted by Mark
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I was at the school board meeting on Tuesday night and heard Greg Marvel list the reasons he thinks this RFP process was necessary. One of his reasons was providers may have been in the district child care business for too long, it's time for a change. Does he treat his teachers this way, if they have been in the district teaching our children for more than 20 years, is it time for them to put up a bid for their jobs so that we can have competition, fresh ideas and a change? The teacher of the year award this year went to a teacher who has been in the district for more than 20 years.

Posted by Donna
a resident of Danville
on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I was at the school board meeting on Tuesday night. What Mr. Marvel said was that competition is good and it was time to see what other child care providers could do for the schools. As I am sure Mark is aware, state law provides for tenure for teachers after two years. Unless the Legislature is willing to change the laws, it is very difficult to get rid of poorly performing teachers, whether they have been in the District for 5 years or 30 years. The comparison offered by Mark is not accurate. Child care providers should not be guaranteed a permanent contract, and the law does not require it, unlike teachers. The school board left the decision to the local sites and parent committees, as it should have been. As parents we want our local schools and parents to have a large say in how our schools are run. The District left the decision to the local schools and the Board refused to overturn those local decisions.

Posted by Golden View Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 1:06 am

I would also be outraged if I do not know as soon as possible about the new provider, and what they offer.
I think, the distreict tryig to be super fair made the process looked to me like more like a set up to keep current providers, than to change them. In such a short period of time it was impossible to make a decision. More information was required.
I am aware Golden View's Committee gathered all the information they could from all providers considered (including The Growing Room).The Committee did not make this important decision until the time was up five days later.

Parents in Golden View's Committee met with the group of concerned parents at Starbucks @ Blackhawk last Sunday. All the parents that went were not so concern after the meeting.
Why all the parents that are so concerned in this blog, did not show up last Sunday? The e-mail was sent to all the parents with children in The Growing Room?

If you want to feel better about the future of the Before and After school care at Golden View, just stop at Alamo or Rancho Romero and ask any parent with the children at YMCA. They love it.

The YMCA has the resources and is willing to work with all the parents at Golden View to create a program that fits all the Before and After school care and Summer camps that every family with children in the school need.
So expect the changes fro good that you request. Now it is the time.

Web Link
Web Linkchild-care/before-and-after-school-care

Posted by Michelle
a resident of Danville
on Mar 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Follow the $$$$$. Why does the District allow these ridiculous 1/2 days for a WHOLE week for OPTIONAL Parent Teacher Conferences? Who makes the most money? Is there a reciprocity agreement on those funds for those weeks between the SRVUSD and KC/YMCA/GR? What about the "Enrichment" much of that cost goes back to the District? Every time I think about this I get a headache.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Has anyone heard anything about the group that sent an email to the board member (Mintz?) about legal action and the Brown Act? Or the community member who shared the information about the Act at the Board meeting the other night? So anxious to hear.

Posted by SR parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I am also a parent with children who have attended BOTH Growing Room and Kids Country, and the difference in care and quality is huge. Two children attended Growing Room at a San Ramon school, and one now attends Kids Country at another school in the district. Our experience with Kids Country was FAR FAR FAR better than Growing Room. Neither of our children wanted to attend the Growing Room, and both would beg us not go to the Growing Room. The conditions were dirty, the care was substandard, and two lice infestations were never dealt with, and both carried over to the school and became huge issues. Our experience with Kid’s Country has been the opposite. Our child enjoys the staff, the facilities are clean and well kept.
These conspiracy theories regarding only selected people receiving an email survey are extremely far-fetched – if you deleted it or did not bother to check it, whose fault is that? Plus, the survey was simply another piece of information. If the district had not put out a survey, the same people would be “outraged” over the lack of communication or input.
Competition is healthy. No provider should be able to simply renew their lease – no questions asked. As parents, we should all want the best provider possible, and that can only happen by offering a competitive process. Maybe, rather than spending so much wasted time pointing fingers at another provider, you should ask the GR leadership why they did a terrible job selling their own program to committees that represent schools at which the GR has been providing care for many, many years. The GR family salary information is very compelling - particularly for a company that claims to be a "non-profit." Now we know why, as a company, they don't report a profit at the end of the year. They did a poor job and are in danger of losing their cash cow - plain and simple!

Posted by Jeannette
a resident of Tassajara Hills Elementary School
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Thank you for sharing that information. I am all for people being paid well, but that does seem rather high. I would be interested to know what the President etc of KC & YMCA make. The Y is much bigger, but it would be an interesting comparison. Kevin & Fern you must have been part of the rude bulling parents at the meeting. Do you teach your children that type of behavior? Class A violations are a concern, and Mr. Enoch commented that they were addressed by the committees. I am sure that we will have an opportunity to ask questions of the new provider when they have an open house or start the fall enrollment process.

Posted by Member
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Web Link

Posted by Itsallonline
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

From the 2009 tax return for KC (which covers the period 7/1/09 through 6/30/10) it appears that corporate officers are unpaid, which is the norm for non-profits. CE is listed as Executive Director and made $148,921, almost $100,000 less than JL from the GR, and comparable the the GR Exec Director. Companies are required to list all key employees with salaries over $100K and CE is the only one listed. This return was dated 2/7/11, so I would not expect their 2010 return (7/1/10 - 6/30/11) for another month or so.

I will try to find info on the Y

Posted by Kevin
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

If you are angry, take action:

Web Link

Posted by Denise
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I have no interest in the compensation of the individuals involved. Given the level of responsibility they have in making decisions for my children I hope they are well paid but the details of this have no bearing on my decision making process. I am concerned about my children getting the best possible care. Shouldn't that be everyone's primary concern?

Posted by Erin
a resident of Danville
on Mar 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I don't get it. If Kid's Country costs more (tuition) and loses kids why am I supposed to be so grateful that my kids are losing their trusted, caring, high-quality childcare providers for these unknown and frankly suspect great new providers? Oh, 'cause their director gets paid less? Really, not my concern. And not because I have so much cash I just don't know where to spend it. Because child care should not go based on the lowest bid.

The way the whole process was run was really suspect. I had a hard time getting any information on it. If they wanted a meaningful, scientifically valid poll they wouldn't just send out an email invite and they wouldn't just compare the raw, demographically unweighted numbers. A USA Today poll in the Life section is about as meaningful.

Posted by San Ramon Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

After reading the posts listed, I agree with Dan. I think I've been sold false information and now feel taken and manipulated. As a Dougherty Valley parent I was not aware that the family who owns The Growing Room has profitted so greatly. Now I get what all the fuss is about. They are blaming the district's process instead of reflecting on what they could and should be doing to improve their programs for our children.

Posted by Joan
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

I also agree with the post above. Take a look at what the Growing Room family is collecting in salary. They have been taking advantage of parents, the community and the school district. They attack and discredit other providers, claiming they are all about the children, and then collect just under $800,000 a year in salaries. (Some of the "jobs" are in name only as they are "board members". ) Not bad for running a few before and after school day care programs!

I would like to encourage The Express to do some investigation into this and compare what the three child care companies pay in salaries to their board and executives, keeping in mind the size of each operation. If they are non-profits ( an interesting term given these salaries) then the information should be available.

Also, as for the guy wanting everyone to say how mad they are, if he is who I think he is I suggest you watch him in action before you jump on his band wagon.

Posted by Lee
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

To look at a fair comparison, you need to look at a company's total "Administrative" payouts, which includes all Administration, (Vice Presidents, Presidents, anyone working in the office to keep it running, taxes and benefits for all of that, plus insurance etc. etc.) And you need to look at more than one year of financials and returns. If asked, I believe that "GR family" company can come up with 10 years of tax returns with no income to officers and with debts of more than $650,000 for building 4 beautiful buildings which the "GR family" had to guarantee the loans. If the District had pulled the plug before those loans had been paid, the "GR family" would have been stuck. I think that shows a dedication to the children of this Valley more than anything else. You should follow the money with ALL the facts.

For instance, you might want to also check on just KC Administrative payroll payouts for their company and you might see it might be about $800,000. If you checked on the KC financials and returns for 10 years I wonder what you would find?

It seems that someone is trying to start rumors that are unfounded and half-truths. The real issue is that these questions would have been asked and answered had the District allowed for transparency. That is why parents are upset, they were not involved in a decision only they only should be in charge of.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Mar 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Also, you have to wonder how financially viable is Kids Country going to be next year and beyond. It reported operating losses totaling $872,000 between 2008-10. That seems like poor fiscal management to me.

Its tax return for 2010-11 has not been made public yet; so, it is not clear how much more money it may have lost last year.

I suppose KC can just keep increasing tuition to parents year after year, to cover losses like this. But, is that the kind of organization to which we want to entrust two more child care sites?

Posted by John
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

The Growing Room has been a family run business for the last 22 years in this district. They have happy families, they have no serious violations, they are not on probation with the state, and they are cheaper than both KC and YMCA. There is no reason for any of this.

Although, I do understand why the district wants to keep a fair playing field, I don't feel like the process in which they went about it was fair. They witheld information from parents. I was informed from The Growing Room what was going on and when. I think its silly to discuss salaries of the childcare providers. Who cares what they make as long as they are providing quality childcare for our children, right? When I called the district to get more information or to let them know that I would like to be considered on the committee, I was given no information and was told to go to my principle about being on the committee. When I called and spoke with her, she told that I would not be permitted on the committee as its going to be a random drawing. Why if I am a parent invested in the outcome do I not get a voice here? Its an unfair process. Plain and simple.

Posted by John
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Also, I just saw that there is a petition going on. Check it out.

Web Link

Posted by Julie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

Regardless of who started the discussion, there are a few things here that are rediculous.
1) Having more parents on a committee that aren't using the service than parents that are. That just plain makes no sense. The value of childcare to working parents is totally different than to non-working parents and you can't expect one to speak for the other, period.
2) Selecting based on salaries of a family-owned business. You have no idea how many years they may have gone without a salary to get the business started, or how much of their personal space they might use insteaad of paying for an office, or perhaps their legal costs are lower because they haven't had any safety violations. Generally we here in the valley support the mom and pop shops, not throw them out for building a good business.

Posted by Julie
a resident of Danville
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

Oops! ridiculous -- Sorry. Typo.

Posted by Dustin
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I don't have kids at these schools yet but will need to decide on one in the future. I just did a basic google search to research a bit.(Growing Room San Ramon, Kids Country San Ramon, and YMCA San Ramon).

Under Growing Room there is nothing but good reviews as far down the list as I can find. Sounds like everyone loves it. 5 stars on Yelp.

The second link under Kids Country is a citation they got for losing kids (not a good start). Then there were several others about the State trying to revoke their license. That made me feel warm and fuzzy. I can't wait to send my kids there. 2.5 stars on Yelp and a few negative comments. Sounds like these people either need to pay off the San Ramon Express so they don't publish their citations or they need to stop losing people's kids.

Under YMCA there were good reviews for the most part, except a few lice comments, problems with the new management, and parents pulling their kids out. 3.5 stars on Yelp and a few negative comments.

So why are these 2 schools taking over? It doesn't make any sense to me. It feels like someone's playing favorites or someone is paying someone else off. How about they let the parents speak to see if they want to move schools because I'd rather send my kids to the Growing Room. I don't feel very comfortable sending my kids to "Honey I Lost Your Kid". How do I cast an official vote or petition or something? Or do we have to call in Occupiers to SRVUSD.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

All very good and valid points Dustin. All questions that we asked at the last school board meeting. For some unknown reason this board seems hell bent on NOT starting the process over despite admitting there were some 'lessons learned' during the process. They also like to blame the parents for not being more involved when the process began last year or the year before. (It's been pretty hush hush on purpose I suppose to their advantage.)

Occupying the office is a great idea. The more parents that speak up, take action the better. Who in their right mind would allow a company on probation to bid on MORE locations???!!! What? Hello? And what new parents would actually want to give KC company a try? Again, hello??

We were kicked out of Kids' Country for writing on this forum about what happened to our child while she was in their care. They are are completely mismanaged organization. Right up to the top of their so-called leadership. (And I use the term very loosely.) You are smart to Google all the companies. Do your homework before you send your child anywhere.

Would any of us hire a sitter or a nanny that was on probation and had 5 Level A violations with the State? (And the number is indeed 5 by the way. Not the 4 they keep claiming to have.)

Do your homework parents. Do your homework. Maybe someone will get smart and start an off-site private before and after care with van service to and from school. There are going to be a lot of families looking for alternatives very soon I think...

Posted by Jeannette
a resident of Tassajara Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Clearly Fern and Kevin have had problems witk KC and can't let it go.

Three of the 4 committees decided that either KC or the YMCA were better choices than GR. The decision by the board was unanimous to go with the recommendations. It is over and done with, unless there was a Brown Act violation, which they seemed to think was not the case.

I find it rather disappointing that we have people who want to cause trouble and waste time with an occupy movement.
Let's all move on, ask questions of the new providers and make our own decision as to who should watch our children.

Posted by Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Jeanette- that is a pretty bold statement. Kevin and Fern have every right to be upset and shouldn't have to let it go as you say. How would you feel if it was your child that KC lost? Think about it. Imagine going to pick up your child and no one knows where he or she is. Who do you call? Whats your next step? You put trust in your provider to care for your children when you cannot but KC has proven not to care about the children since they so carelessly have let 5 children disapear. Its a huge violation with Community Care Licensing and that is why KC is on probation. Too many lost children. And yet you can't wait to enroll your child in their program. Seems odd to me...

The problem here is how the committee's were formed and how the RFP process was carried out. It was all done in private with barely any parent involvement. Less than 14% of the survey's were completed which doesn't seem very fair. Most parents complained that they didn't even receive a survey. The surveys were sent out from Jessica Romeo who most people do not know. Their surveys either went to their spam folders as Jessica Romeo is not a recognized sender or were disregarded since it wasn't from the District. It is not the parents fault that the District didn't make more of an effort to involve the parents. Thats why so many people are upset. We care about which childcare center we put our children in. We care about the relationships our children have formed with The Growing Room staff over the years, and we care that our opinion matters to the District.

Posted by Jeannette
a resident of Tassajara Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

San Ramon parent, or should I say Kevin or Fern. So you came to pick up your child & they did not know where he or she was? I think that is what happened to the GR kid that was lost at Twin Creeks as stated by one of the parents at the board meeting. At the board meeting they went over the process that has been going on for over a year. An independent committee decided who they wanted for their provider and 3 of the 4 decided against the GR. As a matter of fact they were not even the 2 or 3rd choice by the 7 committees. Interesting, if the GR is so good who were they not choosen?

I am sure TH will have an open house with KC to discuss our concerns,
and I will ask my questions then.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Jeanette- The comment above was not from me by the way. (Thanks for the support SR Parent above.)

To set the record straight, my child was not lost by KC. The Level A was another type of serious safety issue which warranted the highest violation levied to child care providers. Also related to lack of supervision by 3 'teachers' in a classroom. And no ma'am, we will not let it go. Ever. And neither would you.

I think it's great that you are planning to ask questions of KC. Have at it. What do you think they will say? "We've put better processes in place." We have taken care of the issues." If you trust them and like them and feel at peace about them caring for your children then that is certainly your right. Careful not to cross them or bring any concerns to them or the executive director. Feedback is not welcome in that organization.

In the end, our issues revolve around simply wanting what I believe we all want-safe children and the opportunity for the actual stakeholders to make the decisions regarding who cares for the children of our district. Not a teensy, tiny secret committee with an invalid survey.

Posted by Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:56 am

The district said that this process was going on for a year however they didn't inform the parents of anything until January 9, 2012 and the proces was complete by mid February. Doesn't seem like a year to us parents. Felt like a month to us, the stake holders. I am only upset because I did not get a survey and my voice was not heard and as I talk to other parents around, neither were they. It is an unfair process, thats all my point was about.

Posted by CJ
a resident of Danville
on Mar 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

My two kids attended Kids Country and they liked it. I found the staff professional and they played with the kids. I also believe 4 of their sites are Nationally Accredited, and Creekside that was up for renewal was one of the accredited sites.

Posted by Pam
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm

After speaking with persons on my school committee I now feel I understand their decision and while I must now mavigate change, I can accept these decisions and reflect that much of my angst has been due to lack of clarity. I look forward to the informational meetings that our new provider will have with parents.

I encourage everyone to reach out to persons on the committe at their respective school and get information first hand, it really helps.

Lastly I am tired, tired of the Growing Room stiring the pot.

Posted by Denise
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Dear Pam,

That's great that you were able to get additional insights from your school committe. We don't even know who was on our committee because they had to sign non-discosure agreements. It's not the place of a five person committe to make decisions for hundreds of parents without any input.

Sorry that your tired, but I'm not and I won't give up until we get some answers. It's not the growing room stirring the pot, its the parents. We pay the bill and we should have a say in who takes care of our children.

Posted by Fern
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

Rock on Pam. Good luck over the next year with this mess.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Del Amigo Continuation High School

on Jun 4, 2017 at 2:47 pm

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