|Sarasota, FL – This week, Sarasota Memorial Health System announced the closure of the Kids Under the Weather program as of November 2, 2012. The program, which provides day care for mildly ill children so that their parents can to go to work, has been in existence for over 20 years and has provided care for hundreds of children.
Several local employers offer this service free or at a reduced cost to their employees in order to reduce employee absenteeism. Many local parents rely on this service when their children are sick so that they do not risk losing their jobs in this already tough economy.
According to a certified letter from Laurie Bettner, Human Resources Manager at Sarasota Memorial Health System, SMH’s reason for closing the program is a decline in the utilization of the program, making it financially unsustainable. However, little to no effort has been made to market this program or to grow its client base. In fact, many working parents and their employers do not realize that this service exists.
Parents and employers who have utilized this program wish to make SMH aware of the void the elimination of this program will leave in the community. This is a very unique program in Sarasota and it will be sorely missed if SMH follows through on their plans to shut it down.