CatLeftCalico Cat News 

Is it really September already? The summer seemed to fly by with a blink of an eye! Now we are one week into our school year! As always a very busy time here at Calico Cat. We said good-bye to many five year olds that joined us for our summer camp program and now they go onto to Kindergarten!

This year we have again made some classroom changes to accommodate the current needs of enrollment of the different age groups. Our need for classroom space for four year olds has grown to using two large classrooms! So now the room that was previously used 60% classroom 40% office and storage is being 100% utilized as a classroom. This will accommodate twenty children. Currently there are fifteen enrolled. Our older four year old classroom has fourteen children enrolled. The two year old class that was previously using that half space is now in the smaller classroom with eight children. In our three year old classroom we have thirteen children enrolled. These numbers are certainly not the final fall 2013 numbers as I continue to get inquiry calls, take parents on tours and register their children. My assumption is, by the time this article goes to print our enrollment will be increased. Currently we have fifty children coming through our doors, with a maximum occupancy allowed of sixty-two, this brings us to 81% capacity.

We have a strong staff once again this year, Lead teachers Miss Nicole, Miss Maricela, Miss Amelia and Miss Ilona all returning for their fourth year. We are now starting to see the younger siblings starting in our program, following in the footsteps of their older siblings that have since graduated from Calico Cat!

As the economy changes and the needs of the community stabilize, Calico Cat will in turn respond in the most cost effective way, keeping in mind our commitment to quality child care and the reputation we have built with much pride and success.

Looking forward to sharing updates with you soon!

God’s Peace,

Dominique Kaczmarek

Calico Cat Director

CatRightHoly Trinity Episcopal Church is proud to announce the grand opening of the Calico Threads Thrift Store.

Our grand opening will be on September 1st from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

We are located at 54 Ferry Street, South River NJ  08882

Hours of operation will be Tuesdays from 6 – 8 PM and Saturdays from 9 am till Noon.

Calico Thread will have clothing, from infants to adults, coats, shoes, blankets and more!!

Please join us for our grand opening celebration!

Welcome to Calico Cat’s 4th new school year as a full day Learning Center!

It is hard to believe how far we have come and how much we have grown in such a short period of time. We have gone through many growth challenges and have learned over the last 4 years how to tailor our school to the needs of our community, the requirements of the state and the ever changing dynamics that our children bring to our environment.

We had a successful summer camp program this summer, so successful that I can say with certainly that the program will be offered again next year.

Our forecasted income for each month in 2012 thus far has been reached including the summer months. Opening up the program for “drop–in” care proved to be a lucrative decision, as we had many children just joining us for field trip days and sporadic visits throughout the summer.

This added enrollment cushioned our 30 regular full time summer campers.

As we prepared for the fall we restructured the classroom usage.

Without a Kindergarten Program this year due to South River offering a full time program we had an extra classroom.

Our layout is as follows: our two year old classroom has been expanded to now hold a total of 10 children instead of only 7. This is the old library.

The remaining third of that space is used now for office space where we store supplies, my desk and computer and the webcam equipment and all files.

Our 3 year old room holds 21 children. Our four year old classroom holds 20 children.

We have an additional 10 children enrolled in the 4 year old age group and those children now occupy the old kindergarten room.

So yes, we are filled to capacity! This has been achieved without a single open house over the summer, and without a single dollar spent on back to school advertising!

It is hard to believe that the school year is actually coming to an end. It feels like yesterday when we were having our Halloween Parade, decorating our Calico Cat Christmas Tree and Making Valentine’s Day cards. It has been a busy year. We now look forward to our graduation ceremony on June 18th for all of our children graduating Kindergarten and all of our children completing preschool and going to Kindergarten in the fall. We expect no less than 150 guests at this event if you would like to share in the festivities, join us at 4pm.

Summer Camp will be starting right away, Calico Cat never sleeps as we go from our fall program and jump right into Summer Fun! Some of our field trip destinations include the movies, and the Turtleback Zoo. Have you been there in the last 7 years? I recommend you plan a visit it has been transformed, expanded, cleaned up and not to mention the wonderful animals! Jenkinson’s Aquarium where we visit and learn about the sea life, tour the boardwalk, enjoy a few kiddie rides and some delicious Jersey shore pizza! This year for the first time we are going to the Middlesex County Fair! If you are interested in joining us to chaperone please don’t hesitate to give me a call, we would love to have you with us!

Happily, I can report that Calico Cat has reached the forecasted monthly income budget each month this year to date. The summer income will be the determining factor on whether or not we will offer a summer camp program next year. I am optimistic; however I have implemented a reduction in staff and also a mandatory 4 day only work week for our full time employees. The summer season is also the preferred time for vacations; this generates additional payroll expenses with a smaller enrollment base. Not a concern, however there should be an awareness of some increased expenses that we will have to endure without the maximum enrollment income that we have realized since September. I don’t have hard numbers, as believe it or not summer enrollment is still coming in this week!

We have experienced minimal turnover at Calico Cat. With five of our full time teachers completing their third year with us, the atmosphere and the energy is quite positive! There has been so much positive feedback from the parents, referrals for next year’s enrollment from word of mouth, I cannot help but feel strongly that our presence here in South River as a full time preschool/childcare facility is solid!

This fall South River Public Schools will offer a full time Kindergarten. With that program being available in town it eliminates the need for our full day Kindergarten program. We will be utilizing all the classrooms for any over flow of age groups we have. I will report in September the break down and class sizes. As of right now, I know we will have two three year old classrooms.

It has been a year with change all around us. I believe that Calico Cat has remained strong and consistent, providing the quality of care that each of us counts on and feels proud to represent.

As always I thank you for the privilege to put my expertise, my passion and my heart into your school.

God’s Peace,

Dominique Kaczmarek