Open Letter to Ocracoke Community

Open Letter to Ocracoke Community

Ocracoke Child Care has been an important island institution for almost thirty years.

After a temporary closure, we re-opened in March of 2016 and we have seen many successes in the past year. It has been great to have happy children back in the building and to serve the families of this community.  We are proud to have been able to remain open year-round.  We provide quality Early Childhood Education in our 5-star center, and we have increased enrollment to the point of having a waiting list of children we can’t accommodate at this time.

However, I am writing this letter with sad news, and an even sadder heart.  As we have been discussing with our parents for over two months now, we are desperate for teachers. We need a minimum of two full-time teachers to be able to remain open. We have advertised extensively, and have aggressively recruited locally, and throughout our state.  We offer a competitive salary, and necessary support for required continuing education and training.  Still, we cannot find two people who will work with us at the childcare center.  The Ocracoke Child Care Board and I have been committed to trying everything possible. I have talked with over seventy-five people about job opportunities here, and we have used lots of our limited resources to begin the hiring process for over a dozen potential teachers, who did not end up working for us. We were set to close last week, on May 5th, but were able to extend our closing date by one week so that we can explore a few other last-ditch efforts.  We will be closed next week (May 15-19) for training, and the opportunity to explore some opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other agencies.

I hope that we will have good news soon. I have not given up hope yet, but I cannot pretend that I see a way out of the crisis that this teacher shortage has caused. I would like thank this community for the tremendous support we have received in the past year, and especially, I want to thank the families who’ve stuck by us, helped us in every way, and who have shared their children with us. It’s an honor to be entrusted with this most important of jobs!

Peace Begins in the Playground!

DeAnna L. Locke



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