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Monroe County Public Health Commissioner addresses Stepping Stones closure

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Stepping Stones Learning Center to close on Friday_60853029

The Monroe County Public Health Commissioner has addressed the early closure of Stepping Stones Learning Center last week. The learning center closed abruptly last Thursday, leaving many families without child care options for the summer. 

Some organizations have reached out to families since the closure, offering their services for children in need of care. 

This Thursday, Dr. Michael Mendoza, the Monroe County Public Health Commissioner, said he was disappointed in the decision by Stepping Stones to close last week and is asking for additional classrooms to be opened within other child care facilities.

“Monroe County is disappointed in Stepping Stones Learning Center’s abrupt closure.  Upon learning of the June 30, 2017 closure, the county took immediate action to care for the children receiving services through the County of Monroe. The county facilitates the placement of children who qualify for services in the early-intervention and preschool special education programs. Stepping Stones Learning Center had a contract with the county for the placement of 128 children.  

In order to accommodate these children, Monroe County has contacted the New York State Board of Education to request permission for other providers to open additional classrooms. While there has been a longstanding shortage of classrooms, the county is working with providers to ensure that there will be no gaps in service as we enter the start of the new school year. The county is also addressing the corresponding transportation issues associated with these changes. We are reaching out to our transportation vendor in order to establish new routes.  Additionally, mileage reimbursements will be available for parents transporting their children to the new provider locations.

Monroe County expects to place each child receiving services through the county at Stepping Stones Learning Center with a new provider. In the unlikely event a student cannot be placed with another provider, in-home services will be available for the short-term. Families of students who received services through Monroe County have been notified of the county’s plans to ensure no gaps in service occur.” 

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