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Little Wellspring Preschool in Roseburg To Close

7:17 PM · Sep 8, 2021

The Elders at Wellspring Bible Fellowship announced today that Little Wellspring, the preschool home to around 158 students will close on Sept. 30. The decision was in response to a formal complaint to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding staff not wearing face masks. The Elders of Wellspring Bible Fellowship decided and informed families they were going to allow staff to decide whether to wear face coverings before the start of the school year. The formal complaint was returned to Little Wellspring on Thursday, Sept. 2. "The Elder have five business days to respond with their steps to rectify the hazard; they have let me know that they will stand firm that the staff will continue to have a choice on whether to wear a face covering," Hughes said in her letter. "Anticipating the battle that lies ahead I have given my notice as Director of Little Wellspring. This was an extremely difficult decision and it breaks my heart to have to end this ministry that has blessed so many families over the last ten years this way." Hughes said they would not have begun the new school year if they had known the preschool would close within 30 days. The preschool started because of Hughes according to a statement from the elders at Wellspring Bible Fellowship. The preschool has a maximum capacity of 190 children according to childcarecenter.us. The preschool is waiving the two-week notice for withdrawal. The preschool also provided before and after-school care and daycare. All 36 counties in Oregon are considered “child care deserts,” according to a 2018 report from the Oregon Child Care Research Partnership. Child care deserts are defined as a place where there are three or more children for every child care spot at licensed facilities. In Douglas County, 17% of children ages 0 to 5 have access to licensed child care. September 8, 2021 Letter from the Elders of Wellspring Bible Fellowship to student families: Dear Little Wellspring Parents, Due to the mask mandates of Oregon and the dictate turning employers into agents of the State's enforcement arm, the Elders at Wellspring Bible Fellowship regretfully have been forced into an ultimatum of closing or violating our long held civil and biblical convictions. Little Wellspring Christian Preschool & Child Care employees have been granted a religious exemption to mask wearing by Wellspring Bible Fellowship. Unfortunately, a formal complaint has been registered with OSHA. We cannot compromise our convictions and so with the resignation of Director Kathy, we have chosen to close Little Wellspring. We are thankful to God for over ten years of ministering the glorious gospel to the students and families of this community through our preschool. We as a church will continue forward with the same mission to see each and every one of you repentant of your sins and trusting in the sweet forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gospel. Please join us on any Sunday at 10:15 am to discover God's truth for your eternal salvation. The preschool may be closing but the gospel will not cease to go forward in love for you and our community! We trust God has a sovereign and infinitely wise plan through all of this and pray that you find grace and peace in Him too. In Christ, The Elders of Wellspring Bible Fellowship Bryan Carver Craig Kinney Shane Smith Rob Johnson Brandon Smith ---------- Message from Little Wellspring Director Kathy Hughes to student families: September 8, 2021 Dear Little Wellspring Families, On August 31, 2021 the Elders of Wellspring Bible Fellowship sent out a letter to Little Wellspring Families that they were going to allow Little Wellspring staff to decide whether to wear a face covering or not. On Thursday, September 2, 2021 I was notified by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) that they had received a notice of a safety and/or health hazard(s) at Little Wellspring. The specific nature of the alleged hazard(s) is as follows: employees are not wearing facial coverings in the facility during operating hours. The Elders have five business days to respond with their steps to rectify the hazard; they have let me know that they will stand firm that the staff will continue to have a choice on whether to wear a face covering. Anticipating the battle that lies ahead I have given my notice as Director of Little Wellspring. After meeting with the Elders of Wellspring Bible Fellowship it was decided that Thursday, September 30, 2021 will be the last day for the ministry of Little Wellspring to operate. This was an extremely difficult decision and it breaks my heart to have to end this ministry that has blessed so many families over the last ten years this way. For our families that we have served for so many years and those that we were just beginning to serve please accept my heartfelt apology for the inconvenience this is going to cause your family. I would NEVER had begun the new school year if I had known that within 30 days we would be closing. My staff and I are so thankful for all the years we have been able to love on your children and share God with them. I know that many of you may find new childcare before September 30, 2021, so we are waiving our usual two-week notice. Please just notify one of my staff about your child’s last day and settle your account. The next few weeks will be hard on all of us as we say good-bye, but my staff and I are dedicated to continue to give our families quality care. With Much Sadness, Kathy Hughes, Director Story by Janelle Polycyn and Ryan Finlay

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