COVID-19 Updates


The health and safety of all Wonders families and staff is a primary concern as we monitor the new coronavirus. We have been monitoring the CDC’s recommendations for schools and child care facilities and will continue to make decisions based upon the CDC and local health department recommendations concerning COVID-19. As of May 6, 2020, schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, in Montgomery County and the school year will end on May 29, in DC. Wonders is not invoicing families during this shutdown. Our planning considers a worst-case scenario, remaining closed until September.

As we navigate this uncertain time, three goals guide our focus:

  • Sustaining Wonders through this crisis

  • Supporting our teachers and staff

  • Staying connected as a community

Wonders Updates

May 8, 2020 - I am sure many of you can relate to looking forward to former routines. All of us at Wonders are looking forward to being together again in our classrooms and programs. We have begun planning for our eventual re-opening and in our planning, we recognize that there will be many new routines and procedures that we will have to incorporate. We are using local and federal guidance, relevant training and resources, and tapping into the regional and national child care network for support.
On May 15, both DC and Maryland should provide more information about the next steps for re-opening the economy. Child care is in phase two of the re-open models. You can expect more concrete information from Wonders after May 15. 
We were approved for the PPP loan and expect to receive the money today. Beginning this week, all Wonders staff, who were on the rotating schedule, have begun consistently working their regular hours. We are carefully planning the re-entry of other Wonders staff to meet the requirements of the loan forgiveness and to minimize Wonders loan obligation moving forward. 
With the addition of more staff, we will be adding more opportunities for virtual learning experiences and teacher interactions. Summer camp plans were underway in March, and now the planning includes the possibility of a virtual camp. Flexibility and creativity is our motto right now! 
April 24, 2020 - As the weeks continue to pass, it is my hope that we will continue to stay connected and steady as a community. This crisis has impacted everyone in multiple ways and we recognize how incredibly challenging it is to manage work, parenting, relationships, and finances with so much uncertainty about the future. Hang in there and please, be gentle with yourself.
One of the ways to remain resilient is to honor traditions and express gratitude. The week of May 4, is Teacher Appreciation Week. Each year, the early learning families organize several expressions of gratitude and appreciation for their teachers. One of the most beloved traditions is hanging children’s cards and drawings for their teachers in the hallways of our early learning centers. This year, I invite all of our families to send me photos of drawings and/or cards for their teachers. We will share them with the teachers over the course of the week. This will be a special surprise for our amazing before and after school and early learning teachers.

April 17, 2020 - I am so very pleased to report that many, many families responded to our request for support. We have raised just over $69,000! This will enable us to cover the health care costs for Wonders staff for the months of April and May and some of June. Just yesterday, we received a $10,000 grant from the Small Business Administration. We are waiting to hear about our applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP). We have applied for Montgomery County’s Public Health Emergency Grant (PHEG). We are in the process of applying for a line of credit through our reserve fund’s financial management firm.
We are carefully managing our cash flow and will be able to cover payroll for the weekly rotating staff, through May 5, 2020. We hope the decisions about our various grant/loan applications will be known soon. At this point, we do not plan to further reduce staffing, but we will continue to revisit our weekly strategy.
As is our mission, we are also advocating for our regional childcare workforce and sector. This coming Wednesday, I will be participating in a panel discussion hosted by Nonprofit Montgomery, on the crisis and its impact on early care and education. I am also engaged in work with Montgomery Moving Forward and its advocacy for the early care and education workforce. These efforts underscore the importance of our work educating and caring for children and the critical connection to the economic health of the community. 

Wonders Virtual Activities

We are very excited to share that Wonders has launched our Virtual Activity Sessions for children to enjoy in the comforts of their home. Our program directors will be leading children through various activities. The Virtual Activity will take place using Zoom, every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30 pm. 
This is a great opportunity to bring our school-age community together and visit with some friends and Wonders teachers.
Our virtual activities are only open to our Wonders families. Please check your email for more information.
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Stronger Together Relief Fund

Donations will help us meet the goals that we have set for supporting our staff and sustaining Wonders through the public health crisis:   
  • Sustaining Wonders through this crisis 
  • Supporting our teachers and staff 
  • Staying connected as a community   
Wonders' teachers and directors are the foundation of our organization. We will be using furloughs to ensure that our workforce remains intact. We want to preserve our staff because we have invested so much in the recruitment, training, coaching, and leadership of our workforce. And they are fantastic at what they do.
During the furlough, Wonders will be paying the full cost of employees' monthly medical insurance premium, rather than it being a shared cost, as before. We believe that in this public health crisis, we must ensure that our staff does not have a disruption in access to medical care.  
This crisis has highlighted the fragile infrastructure of child care in this country. Wonders continues to advocate locally and nationally for our sector, our families, children, and staff. If there is a silver lining, we believe the focus on the importance of our work will create a stronger and more fully funded system of early care and education and extended day programming. Donate now to our Stronger Together Relief Fund.

DC Resources

  • DC Public Schools (DCPS)
  • Meal Sites for All DC Students
  • Childcare for essential workers - There is no cohesive list available online. Families in need of child care can reach out to DC’s Child Care Resource & Referral at (202) 862-111 or [email protected] to learn more information.
  • DC Updates