I run daycare centers in Martinsburg since 2019. My team and I survived Covid 19. My center stays open throughout, only closing for 3 to 5 days in certain months when staff and children got Covid during the initial stage of the pandemic. With the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, I renovated the basement of the building and turned it into infant care, creating twenty-five additional spaces for new enrollment. With the expansion of the capacity, I am also able to provide five more additional staff topping my current eight.
Unfortunately, being a new business owner, I did not pay attention to my budget very well. I also enrolled many children, whose tuitions are paid by the State because their parents are essential workers. The State only reimburse the payment about six weeks after providers like myself turn in our children's attendance for claims. Providers can only make claim once a month, and the claims will only be allowed to submit on the first week of the following month.
Staff need to get paid weekly or bi weekly. Due to more than half of my enrollment are paid by State fund, my cash flow is very tight. Previously, many of my staff could not get paid on time. Few of their checks were also returned because I could not get the payment from the State sooner to cover their salaries. United Bank had bend over backwards to assist me in paying the staff on time. Unfortunately, few of the staff members quit and were upset about the situation. Some even reported me to the labor department despite me paying them extra once the funds from the State arrived. I even pawned all the jewelries I have to ensure staff get paid while waiting for the State fund to arrive. Famous Pawn, down by route 11, in Martinsburg, with very nice people working there, they are like a friend to me.
To the past employees whom I have let down, I am glad I have paid each and every one of you plus compensation. Situations like this is one among many reasons, why I am running this race. As part of my policies to bring West Virginia up towards its glory again, I am planning to design a team of officers, to look into reimbursing tuition payments weekly or bi-weekly to childcare providers who are accepting this program. This is to ensure childcare providers, who play a very important role towards our economy, will operate smoothly and without difficulties in making payroll to staff on time. I have seen many childcare closed in Martinsburg due to not able to sustain enough funds to operate. This is very sad to see.
When elected, I am also going to work on making tuition reimbursement from the State to ALL essential employees permanently. It is very important to invest on our essential workers, the front liners, and their families. These are the people we desperately depend on. For this, I promise to pass a bill for permanent reimbursement of childcare tuition to all essential employees who qualified and meet the guidelines and criteria. This will not be based according to income at all. This is applicable to essential workers who graduated from college, still paying student loans, and working towards the career they graduated from, to better their lives and their families. You are not forgotten!
I also had a past employee who was confused and overwhelmed on her first week of employment in my center. She was assigned to a very important role. She was probably nervous working in a big organization such as my daycare center after working from home for almost a decade. She wrote to my licensing officer as a whistle blower, (I was there with her all the time she could have spoken to me and discuss with me the issues directly if any) claiming I did not provide food for the children in my center. She also demanded the authority to audit my food program account. Despite her being in charged, among few other responsibilities as the Chief of Staff employed through my corporate office, to complete all background checks to new staff whom I hired, she reported them as non clearance and non compliance working in the building.
She is another important example as to why I am running. There is so much training and upgrading in ones education. Due to lack of training in skilled work field, one can easily misjudged and defamed a reputable business based on biased opinion. I am glad the Department of Human Resource in Charleston conducted a thorough investigation and cleared me without any doubt. It is very easy to spend a couple of thousand of dollars to an attorney and serve her notice. However, I prefer helping to revenge. This is not my nature as a mother, a wife, a sibling, a friend, a mentor, and a humble human being. I will not put someone into the same difficulties or worse, than I was. I wish she would still reach out to me and start working together again. She is an awesome person and has a lot to contribute if given the right opportunity.
I will work towards approving funds for any individual who attend classes and upgrade their skills, as a one time lump reimbursement once they completed their courses or trainings in selected fields. This investment will ensure more people living in West Virginia are improving their skills, contributing productively towards our economy, and building better work environment.
I am also going to bring up a case where an ex employee, who is very talented, have beautiful children, but heavily distraught. She is upset because of false information being told to her pertaining to the infant teacher who was taking care of her young toddlers at the time. Two staff member, a floater and an infant teacher, had a rift over someone they both dated online. Both of these staff members were working in my daycare center. The floater decided to take matter in her own hands and informed this ex employee that the infant teacher was abusing one of her baby. This infant teacher is a very kind hearted woman who would always go above and beyond to ensure infants and toddlers under her care are happy, safe, and loved. Unfortunately, she also happened to be chatting with the same person online as the floater had. The floater, perhaps out of resentment towards the infant teacher, insisted that the infant teacher was abusing the baby when she tried doing some therapy/exercise with the ex staff baby. The infant teacher had gently cupped the baby two legs together, and massaged them lightly. She also placed a stretchable hair tie over the baby ankles to keep the legs together and tickled her feet. This incident was recorded on tape via the daycare camera in the infant room. Throughout the one minute encounter, the baby was laughing, giggling, and drinking her milk from her sippy cup.
Later the next day, the floater, who did not witness anything first hand, exaggerated the whole activity to the mother of the baby who was also working in my daycare center at the time. The event of this unfortunate situation was brought to my attention almost immediately. I counseled all staff involved and assured the mother of the toddler that based on the video recorded, there was nothing to worry about. She was upset and was very hostile. I totally understand her feelings because she cares for her babies. Unfortunately, she resigned and decided to bring the matter to DHHR and Abuse & Neglect Case worker. Which I totally supported. Meantime, all staff involved were under suspension from work.
After a thorough investigation for a few weeks, all reported authorities issued a clearance to my daycare center and all staff involved. After reviewing all evidences, the infant staff member was cleared of all allegations.
Unfortunately, the incident did not end there. The mother of the babies in the toddler room was not happy with the verdict. She posted a video expressing her feelings live on her facebook page. She mentioned many unsupported allegations and quoted many fictitious references of the incident. I feel for her. Again, sending notice via attorney is not going to help her. She does not have the monetary capacity nor the right and actual evidences to support her claims. She needs guidance and assistance to ensure she is able to distinguish between reality and assumptions. Many mothers and women like her are crying for help and being left to defend for themselves. All the more, my governorship will extend extra help to young women like herself. It is very difficult raising young babies by yourself. It is even tougher for young couples or single young parents to have their children taken away from them and left to foster cares. It is heart-breaking having to constantly fight for child support, finding your own place to live, getting on your feet again with better career and working environment. My policies for my West Virginia people will include all these assistances.
One more case I am bringing up so that the public is aware of my side of the story is about the parking lot confusion between the property I am renting for my daycare center and the property that is right in front of my building. The business owner in that building failed to provide ample parking spaces for his clients. As a result, his clients keep turning into my parking lot and park their cars there. Every evening, I have to pick up trash that was left by his clients who parked in my parking lot. They also park their cars on my lawn area, destroying the grass with tire marks, block access to the fire hydrant, and my mail boxes. The clients' children also enjoy playing along the side of the road unattended while cars from the parents of the children attending my daycare centers pulling in to pick up their kids. On few incidents, the parents had to push their emergency breaks while turning into the childcare parking area so that they will not hit the children playing. At times, a man will be seen playing football on my parking lot, with his two small children, tossing and hauling the football while my staff cars are parked right on the premise. I have to constantly approach and explain to the clients from the building next door that I am not affiliated to the business there. My parking lot is reserved for my staff and the parents of the seventy-five children who are attending my daycare center. The owner of the building was upset because I would not accommodate his clients parking on my parking lot and gave me a bad review on my google page.
I just want to explain to the public that I am not a bad person. I am just defending my property because I go above and beyond in taking care of my lawn, decorating the garden in front of the building according to seasons and festivals. The children love these decors and enjoy taking pictures next to the props. I would appreciate if he would approach me in person and request humbly if his clients can use my parking spaces, especially after my daycare center is closed for the day. Also, try to ensure the parking spaces is trash free after parking their cars and putting up picnic chairs to gather around in groups during great weather.
To the clients and public person who read this, I hope you understand my side of the story. I have to ensure everyday that the children and staff in my daycare center is happy, safe, and learning at all times. I also would like the businesses around me to do their part in ensuring no other businesses are disrupted nor being inconvenienced at all times. If we all do our part as a great citizen, we can enjoy the fruit of harmony and peace together.
I am writing this blog to clear some matters that may be used against me and portray me as someone whom I am not. There is always two sides of every story. Sometimes even three or more sides are involved. I am here to present myself to the blessed people of West Virginia because I have what it takes to bring us to a better era. I have policies that would benefit everyone living in this wonderful State. I am always here from the people, for the people.
Till my next blog, please enjoy the season. Nothing smells better than a pumpkin spice scent. Have an awesome Monday everyone. 10/10/22