Ballard Boys and Girls Club Child Care co-directors step down
This story has been updated to include a statement from BGC Early Learning and Child Care Director Doug Chidgey
Ballard Boys and Girls Club Child Care Co-Directors Dena DeYoung and Hallie Larson stepped down from their jobs as of yesterday, according to Doug Chidgey, King County BGC Regional Director of Early Learning & Child Care.
Chidgey said they failed to meet the state-mandated Washington Administrative Code requirements for early learning and child care. They knew about the requirements, he said, but chose not to update their credentials.
"We are sad to see them go and are prepared to welcome them back to our Clubs if they choose to complete the state’s requirements," Chidgey said in a statement.
The letter Chidgey sent out to parents is spare on specifics. It states that the BGC met up with the Washington State Child Care Auditor and talked about the staff and programs at Ballard. They "discussed a couple of important changes found in the annual assessment which the Child Care Center has been asked to make."
Those changes included updating the protocols in relation to the code on early learning and child care, and it involved the stepping down of DeYoung and Larson.
"We want to thank them for their hard work during the past year while operating the largest child care program within Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. The search has begun to hire a Director and Assistant Director with the required credits and experience," Chidgey writes in the letter.
A BNT reader, who forwarded Chidgey's letter to us, was unhappy with the decision.
"Hallie and Dena have done a great job taking over in the last year, and last night, with no warning to staff, they were fired and not there this morning. ... they just fired them instead of changing their titles and keeping them around at least transitionally to provide consistency - probably the most important aspect of child care," the reader wrote.
Members of the Ballard community are still burned by the sudden transfer of long-time Ballard BGC Director Mark Hendricks last September. At the time, the decision resulted in a big lashback, culminating into an email and phone campaign, a petition and a rally.
In the end, Hendricks was transferred and Shelly Puariea became the new Ballard director.
Other changes at the club as a result of the auditor meeting include an updated orientation on a number of new BGC protocols that improve accountability for supervising children and activities. Child Care staff, from Pre-K teachers to 5th grade counselors, will also have the opportunity to complete up to 25 hours of paid training before the end of this year. It will cover child care licensing laws, health and safety and standard operating procedures.
Chidgey said anyone can contact him with comments or concerns. He said he will be on-site at the Ballard club most afternoons. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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