Journal Entry

Guidepost Montessori Launches Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers

Guidepost Montessori is re-opening campuses to ensure that essential workers do not lose crucial childcare services during coronavirus closures

Lake Forest, CA, MARCH 20 2020— While many schools are temporarily closing as the nation mobilizes around coronavirus response measures, Guidepost Montessori is re-opening its early childhood campuses to ensure that essential workers do not lose crucial childcare services during the crisis.

“To successfully address this global pandemic, we inescapably rely on certain critical work forces, and these essential workers in turn rely on accessible, reliable, and pedagogically exceptional childcare for their own children,” said Ray Girn, CEO of Higher Ground Education and Founder of Guidepost Montessori. “Our country is and will increasingly be challenged by an emerging crisis in childcare capacity. The gravity of this unique circumstance cannot be overstated, and a different solution is needed.”

Guidepost’s Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers program has the capacity to serve children from 8 weeks to 12 years old. Enrollment is now open for qualifying families in pilot locations across the country, including Northern Virginia, Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Southern California, Arizona, and North Carolina, Care will run from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with the option for extended hours based on local need.

These pilot locations utilize current Guidepost campuses with teachers who opted into adapting their classrooms for this program. Learning will be facilitated in small cohorts, with heightened safety and sanitization measures as guided by the CDC. Parents will have access to flexible drop-off and weekly care that is free of long-term commitment, and at significantly discounted rates—all under the umbrella of guiding Montessori principles.

“Guidepost will bring to bear the entire weight of its pedagogical and programmatic expertise to ensure that essential workers can be confident their children are spending their days in the calmest, most stabilizing, and most enriching environments possible, surrounded by adults who will envelop them in love and care,” added Girn. “Maria Montessori herself developed her method over decades filled with crisis: from World War II to the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, to the Great Depression, to World War II. She recognized that the only path to tomorrow is through the proper education of children.”

Guidepost Montessori has plans to expand emergency childcare beyond the bounds of their own location in order to serve as many workers in critical fields as possible.

“In this unprecedented time, we are working closely with senior childcare regulators across the U.S. to ensure our approach complies with all requirements and best practices.  We are  collaborating to find innovative ways to provide crucial childcare services in a safe and effective manner and to obtain special waivers enabling that care,” added Aaron Bailey, Director of Licensing and Government Affairs. “Next, we will be looking to partner with hospitals and medical centers to bring care on-site to those who need it, either within the hospital walls, or even in a mobile trailer nearby.”

As part of Guidepost’s commitment to emergency childcare, the school network has partnered with Care.com, as a preferred provider in their Care@Works Backup Childcare Program, which helps families book backup care when their existing childcare options fall through. Families of essential workers will be able to seamlessly book care within care.com’s platform and register at their closest Guidepost location.

For a full list of campuses currently offering this program and to see if you qualify, go to guidepostmontessori.com/programs.emergency-care. To get started, whether at an existing campus or to propose a new location of need, email emergencycare@guidepostmontessori.com or call 855-444-1442.

ABOUT GUIDEPOST MONTESSORI

Guidepost Montessori is a global network comprised of nearly 50 schools that serve over 3,500 families from birth through middle school. Owned and operated by Higher Ground Education, Guidepost and Higher Ground are dedicated to bringing high-fidelity, next generation Montessori to the mainstream. Our world-class educators are trained in-house through an MACTE-accredited Montessori teacher-training institute, The Prepared Montessorian.

HIGHER GROUND EDUCATION

Founded in 2016 by an experienced team of educators and innovative entrepreneurs, Higher Ground functions as a hyper-scaling, tech-enabled school operator. It has grown into a diverse team whose goal is to elevate the educational establishment with a suite of educational offerings, ensuring that teachers have the training and tools they need; schools have the infrastructure and resources they need; and that parents have the support and partnership they deserve. In addition to operating Guidepost Montessori, Higher Ground also operates the Academy of Thought and Industry, which delivers Montessori-based programming from grades 6-12. It is from this collaboration and inclusivity that we can elevate the establishment of education—and through it the children of the world—to a “higher ground.”