We bring sad news about the Gentle Shepherd Preschool and Childcare Ministry, which has blessed this congregation for 40 years. Recent years have brought about changing circumstances for this ministry.
Finance team members of the Church Council can confirm that the Gentle Shepherd’s preschool has been struggling for some 10-11 months. Financial losses have been consistent through this time. This has been due in large part to declining enrollment. This week, only 34 children were enrolled at the Preschool and Childcare Ministry. Frankly, all church council and Gentle Shepherd’s Board members thought there was more time to right the ship and correct the trend. Substantial financial losses in August and September, however, caused an immediate study of the situation this week. When the current financial picture was surveyed in detail, it became obvious that Gentle Shepherd, if it continued as it was, would not be able to meet payroll obligations in the month of November.
To best serve the staff, students and families of Gentle Shepherd the leadership of the Childcare Board, the Director and Assistant Director from Gentle Shepherd’s, and the Childcare Board informed students and staff on Friday that Gentle Shepherd would not be able to continue to operate beyond October 27, 2017. The intent of this action was to provide sufficient time for families and staff to make other arrangements for childcare and employment and to limit the financial liability of the Ford Street Church for ongoing payroll deficits.
Representatives of the church, including Council members and the Pastor, will be glad to continue to help explain and answer questions about this difficult situation at (765)534-3314. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions. A group will be being formed by the Church Council to plan for a way forward and possible new ministry opportunities. Your prayers and planning will all be greatly appreciated.