Policies in Event of a Government Shutdown

Questions and Answers related to a Potential Child Care Center Closure

Due to Government Shutdown

September 16, 2015


1.       In the event of a Government shutdown will the NIST Child Care Center be open?


No.  The Department of Commerce ruled that the NIST Child Care Center (CCC) must be closed if NIST is closed due to a government-wide shutdown.   


2.       Will families have to pay tuition during a shutdown?


Yes and No. The Parent Handbook states “Parents are responsible for tuition while the child is officially enrolled in the Center whether or not the child has been in attendance. No tuition credit is given for absences resulting from vacation, illness, acts of nature, or any other circumstance outside of the CCC's control (including but not limited to inclement weather, power outage, earthquake, snow, hurricane, storm, flood, terrorist attack, tornado, fire, etc.).” 


However, the Board of Directors (BOD) has approved an emergency policy to limit the amount of tuition a family is required to pay in the event of a shutdown, as below:


-If the Center is closed due to a shutdown of 5 consecutive days or less, payment of tuition is required for those 5 days.

-If the Center is closed due to a shutdown of more than 5 consecutive days, tuition will not be required starting from day 6 until the Center reopens.


NOTE:  The BOD will readdress these policy decisions as necessary (i.e., state or duration of closure, intermittent closure, etc.). 


3.       Why did the Board decide to cease tuition payments after 5 consecutive days, rather than requiring continual payment as outlined in the Parent Handbook?


The Board recognized the potential hardship that continual payments will create for families during a government shutdown.  


4.       Will the Center teachers and staff be paid during a shutdown?


Yes. The Board considered it imperative that we retain our teachers and staff in the event of a shutdown so that when the government re-opens, the CCC may continue operation at required staff/children ratios.   The BOD will readdress as necessary.


5.       How would a shutdown impact instruction for the Kindergartners?


The Kindergarten program is required by State Board of Education (COMAR) Nonpublic School regulation to have at least 170 days of instruction.  The CCC 2015-16 kindergarten calendar exceeds this requirement with 184 days of planned instruction.  To date, the CCC Kindergarten Program has not had any closures due to weather, so the program has 14 days of cushion remaining in this school year.  If an extended shutdown should cause the program to dip below the required 170 days of instruction, the Center would have to consider using child care only days as instructional days, e.g., Spring Break, the teacher professional day and teacher conference day could be impacted.   Conferences would, however, be scheduled at later dates as not to interfere with instructional time.


6.       For an orderly shutdown, government employees are required to come to work for up to ½ day on the first day of the shutdown.  Will the Center be open during this time?


Yes.  The Center will be open from 6:45 am until 12:30 pm on the first day of a shutdown. All families will have to pick up their children by the closing time of 12:30 pm. 


7.       How will families know that the Center is reopening after a shutdown?


Families should check the NIST status line at 1-800-437-4385 (x8000) for a status update.  


8.       What if the shutdown extends past Tues, Oct 6, when the NIST CCA annual meeting is planned?


 If the shutdown extends past October 6 when the NIST CCA annual meeting is planned, the annual meeting will be rescheduled for the 2nd full business day after re-opening due to the shutdown.