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Fields Corner non-profit suspends after-school programs

VietAid announced it's shutting its after-school program because of financial issues, but says it hopes to re-open them at some point.

People who have already signed their kids up for programs through May will get refunds, the group said. The group had provided after-school activities for students in grades 1 through 8.

VietAid had subsidized the program with funds from its real-estate development program, but said "the challenging pace of real estate development in the Dorchester area for a non-profit like ours" has meant less money coming in for after-school programs.

The group says it plans to restructure its finances through the rest of the year and hopes that will let it resume the after-school programs.

Haley House in Roxbury, made a similar announcement this week about the closure of its bakery and cafe.

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VietAid did great work in the community especially when Vietnamese immigrants were targeted by bullies in school and the center was the target of vandals who smashed their windows years ago.

Voting closed 10

Comm of Mass Dept of Early Education and Care has been auditing all after school programs to determine if said programs must conform to state license regulations. This is not the only program being impacted in Boston. Numerous City of Boston after school programs are under instruction from the State to conform.

This means that they will need to obtain a state license, employ staff certified to work in a state licensed program, and depending on corporate structure and mission, either form a business to run such a program or sub-contract to an entity that is already state certified.

In short... if a child goes to a program and 1) remains on premises for more than one hour, 2) cannot leave the facility on their own, 3) remains on site to be picked-up and released to a parent or qualified family member, said program must obtain a state EEC license.

Many of the city's after school programs in locations such as community centers are also being required to conform. These are all great programs and many will continue but under a different form of certification. In the case of the city, they cannot license and staff such a program due to certain state restrictions so they will have to hire an existing company (B&G Clubs, YMCA, private commercial business) or ask their resident non-profit to evolved into a child care business. Some already hold that distinction and for some years (like the one in Rossie for about 10 years now) and some are getting licensed elsewhere in the city. The state has given these places time to make it happen.

Voting closed 9

Ok, interesting theory. But VietAid does have an EEC license, I’m presuming, since they still have a nursery school program.

Also, if an org said it’s financial, it’s generally financial. If there were some licensing issue, I’m pretty sure VietAid would tell the community also. Why do I think this? I’m at this community center about once a week.

Voting closed 15