Parish Life

Daycare for Teachers

Dear St. Agnes Family,

I want to make you aware of an effort we will be undertaking to help ensure teacher retention at both St. Agnes and Bishop Miege schools. Often our teachers have to make a decision when their families grow. As many of you are aware, daycare can be quite expensive, especially on a teacher’s salary.  This can force teachers to make the difficult decision to continue teaching, change careers or to stay home to take care of their children.

In an effort to retain our excellent teachers and aid them with childcare (ages six months to three years old), an anonymous benefactor has stepped forward to help launch a daycare center on our campus.  It will be available only to teachers from St. Agnes and Bishop Miege. In the first year, the daycare would reside in what is often called the Little House (the stone house across the street from the church, with the red tile roof.)  It used to house a daycare a number of years ago and at one point a Montessori school.

The daycare will be fully-funded for the first five years by the benefactor, with the goal of full sustainability on its own after five years. A director has been identified and a staff is being developed as well.  An important note, the little house is limited in size (after all, it is a little house), and already has a waiting list.  Once a few minor modifications are completed, it will be ready for the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

Knowing more space will eventually be necessary, we have developed a building committee.  The purpose of the committee is to discern the best way the convent can be used as the permanent home of the daycare in its second year and beyond.  The daycare will reside on the main floor and utilize the basement as a play and possibly storage area for the daycare.  In addition, this same committee will also     explore additional uses that the entire parish can benefit from by  remodeling the remainder of the convent space.  We are short on meeting space with modern technology, and the convent could serve us well.  Furthermore, a portion could be used as a parlor area for parishioners to mingle on a daily basis.

What’s more, we have often discussed moving the current adoration to the convent chapel.  Again, some modifications would be needed, but this will be carefully discerned as well.  Drawings and potential cost to remodel the convent are underway and will hopefully be available for review by the end of May.  In full disclosure, the cost of the remodel (aside from the daycare portion) may warrant a small capital campaign, but the benefits to the parish seem to justify a campaign.

With all this said, for over seven years, we have been blessed to have St. Paul’s Outreach reside in the Convent.  They have utilized the building and been a great neighbor for us.  However, we will be parting ways this coming August to better prepare the Convent for its next life.  We still have a lot of exploration to do, and with the help of guidance from The Holy Spirit, and our talented building committee, we will be able to soon share exactly what the next steps will be.

This is truly an exciting opportunity for our parish and school.  I am grateful to the benefactor for providing funding for the daycare center, as well as sparking within myself and others ways to better use the convent space.

Thank you so much for your time and continued prayers and support of our great parish community.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Parish Business Manager, Mike Gomez.

In Christ,

Fr. Pat Sullivan