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Council OKs new permit for Chinese language, culture school

Original post made on Feb 18, 2009

More than 200 supporters of the Little Ivy League School who packed the City Council chambers Tuesday night—most of them from Pleasanton's growing Chinese-American population—got what they came for but only after an agonizing two hours of debate over whether they could continue the school's operation at a new location in Hacienda Business Park.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 8:00 AM

Comments (21)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:32 am

I have to wonder what other cities do with these kinds of "schools". And then I wonder about the martial arts school/daycare that guy was trying to set up.


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Posted by Christine
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:38 am

It seems foolish that Pleasanton would allow any program with children to operate without a license. I guess that Dublin will be where I will be sending my children for after school programs. At least they are all licensed.


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Posted by wow
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:43 am

The city is being foolish. Children = License. you cant trust anyone these days, especially with children.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:46 am

This was not without review by the state which issued an exemption from a license.

In addition, the planning commission set up conditions which included background checks and access to outdoor facilities, as well as CPR training for the teachers. The difference between this and the martial arts academy is that classes are offered that are differentiated from one another and includes language instruction and tutoring in math and English, hence making it a tutoring facility.

Tha appellant was asking the council to second guess the state. The planning commission put into place conditions that a daycare license would require.

The council did the right thing.


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Posted by Matt
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Feb 18, 2009 at 9:47 am

We need a sign ordinance that requires english translation to be predominant on signage so Pleasanton does not start looking like Fremont.



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Posted by Tom
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 18, 2009 at 10:27 am

Whenever a child is hurt or abused or has some seizure in a State-licensed childcare facility, the State is always sued for gross negligence in failure to check that the facilities are safe or the employees pass background checks. Thank you city council for ensuring that when a child is hurt or abused in one of these new 'city monitored' childcare facilities, these parents will now sue the city for gross negligence.

The city can't even keep the stoplights running right; consequently, I am certain that the city will do an equally outstanding job at monitoring childcare facilities.

I am sure that after the first lawsuit, that the city will lose, as it always does, the city will be as broke as our current school district. Nice going, thanks to the prudent fiscal oversight of Mrs. Hosterman, Mr. Thorne, and Mrs. Kallio.

We pay taxes for government, no one regulates anything, then our taxpayer money ends up paying huge lump sums to people for lawsuits that result from government agencies failing to not regulate anything.

No wonder the country is in an economic meltdown.


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Posted by bel
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 18, 2009 at 10:47 am

I don't mind seeing an after school care, better than kids going home to an empty house since in most families now both parents have to work.

But Its a child care, it needs to be licenced and employees need to have background checks and finger printing just like other childcares. If they call themselves a school its all the more reason to.


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Posted by Unlicensed Resident
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

Some of you are barking up the wrong tree. I too share you concerns over these unlicensed facilities that server the children but license enforcement is the responsibility of the state, not that of the city.

If you have any concerns with the operation of that facility, you should report it to the state agency responsible for licensing and its enforcement.

The city council did the right in this case.


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Posted by Linda
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

I am a teacher and well aware of this program. There are a lot of regulations that go with becoming a school or a child-care that are above licensing and fingerprinting.

I never heard this program did tutoring at all. It is a child-care. They pick up children at mid-day and at the end of school at school sites all over Pleasanton. This program uses transportation with vehicles with 'Pleasanton Community Church' written on them, but the church no longer exists. It folded into Harvest Valley church on Hopyard, which *has* a licensed child-care program called Adventures in Learning, but the children are not taken there.

This school is not registered as a private school so if they said they were a private school as the newspaper reports, that is completely false. Use this website to check. Web Link

This so-called school is not accredited by WASC.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

Additional questions:
How different or similar is this to a place like Kumon?
How different or similar is this to Sunday school?


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 18, 2009 at 3:54 pm

The state won't license places like these as they are considered exempt. WON'T LICENSE. Therefore it's up to the City to put conditions on these institutions which satisfy the City's concerns, primarily background checks and first aid training. This school has a history of being an exemplary institution. The City Council's and Planning Commission's decisions were responsible and thoughtful.


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Are you kidding? I'm licensed as a family childcare home and they will license anyone who fills out an application and meets the requirements. Believe me, they want the license fees.

From experience, I do know that the city government has no clue about childcare or the process. I had to call, believe it or not, Santa Monica to figure out the requirements. If anyone is interested, look at the City of Santa Monica Child Care Center Planning Guide or Small and Large Family Child Care Planning Guide. Web Link

Also, the State will write an exemption letter for anyone, if you repeatedly bug them enough, just so you'll go away. I was told that they will write an exemption letter if you care for kids for up to 23 1/2 hours a day, as long as you say you'll renew the contract every 12 weeks. That is hilarious.


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

It seems every time the Planning Commission votes against Anne Fox, the matter is appealed by Council-member McGovern. This does not happen when any other commissioner votes with the minority, nor are any appeals filed by the other council members on Planning Commission items. It seems to be be happening several times over the past few months.

The City staff was correct in recommending approval in these matters, and the majority of the Planning Commission and a majority of the City Council agreed. The cost to our taxpayers is undoubtedly thousands of dollars of staff time solely because of the this apparent alliance of these two people.


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Posted by CPA
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 19, 2009 at 10:16 am

I'm an accountant and watched this hearing. Of course, this is a day-care facility and it seemed to me that the 3 city council members knew full well it was a day-care and should be licensed, along with the city employees, but were calling it a tutoring program for zoning so it could go into Hacienda Business Park. McGovern mentioned seeing the original application saying it was a child-care and the city saying it was a child-care. Fox mentioned several submissions made by this business.

From a tax perspective, parents can deduct child-care expenses, but Federal law and IRS specifically prevents tutoring programs from being counted as "care" or a child-care expense for working parents. Looking at the city webpage, the business did two, perhaps three submissions to the city and switched the words related to child-care to private tutoring. If parents have claimed their expenses and used deductions claiming that this business is a child-care, I am sure that these 200 parents are likely to face potential audits from the IRS. If the business owner is now calling it a "tutoring program," this is not classified as a dependent care child-care expense that is deductible, but as a non-deductible education expense.

This business can't have it both ways.


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:02 am

Sarah,

That might be true for family daycares but not necessary true of these tutoring facilities. If the state issues an exemption letter, it is very reticient to then spend its staff time doing what it considers unnecessary licensing.

The state is currently reviewing exemption standards which will hopefully correct what are perceived as loopholes in the licensing and exemption requirements.

And no, there are still hour limitations with exemptions, regardless of whether you renew every 12 weeks.

It makes much more sense for the City to oversee various, specific aspects they are concerned with rather than try to force Child Care Licensing to license something it considers exempt.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

The state gave the school or whatever it is called, an exemption. So each time the state does that, the city is supposed to second guess them?

The city does not issue child care licenses but the council mandated that the school, or whatever, comply with all the edicts of a child care license including background checks, CPR training and providing out door time for the kids. The only issue outstanding was whether there was an onsight playground.

Watching the council meetings, I sometimes think that some people look for reasons to prevent things from happening rather than looking for ways to make something work.


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Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

It's obviously a Day Care.... why bend the rules. This City has overstepped its authority if it is twisting the rules to suite it's needs. Find a place where they can Legally be a Child Care Facility and Get Licensed!


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Posted by Christine
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:22 am

I'm glad Dublin is so close that children can go to Seed2Sprout for a licensed Chinese enrichment program. And I see the city of Dublin has on its agenda for next week's meeting another childcare center, with gasp, an actual outdoor play area that will be located near Fallon Elementary. Thank goodness Dublin has stepped up to the plate and provided and continues to provide these licensed facilities to working parents.

Do you really each child is 'tutored' 30 hours a week? Come on. Even the stuff on the web-site for the City talks about watching TV and video games for this program and swimming and park trips and so on. Tutoring, yes, I'm sure. Did anyone see that Will Smith movie a couple of years ago called "The Pursuit of Happyness" (yes with happiness mispelled). There was a scene about the childcare center having the kids watch Love Boat and Bonanza as part of history lessons. So funny.


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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

The school district's own childcare sites aren't even licensed! I agree that all afterschool programs should be licensed. We need to protect our children.


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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Is there anyone out there who really things a license equals safety????

Do we think this "school" is unsafe?


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2009 at 11:18 am

Finally! The Little Ivy School does provide a needed service to parents.
People don't realize that other parents pick up these children at the schools and transport them. Liability? not the Little Ivy's schools!.
The kids "play" with balls, equipment in a little concret area in front of the school blocking pedestrians, in this busy shopping center with a lot of foot and vehicular traffic, the noise to the other businesses is unbelievable and all of the surrounding businesses have complained to the city, police, etc. No adult watches the kids of all ages outside.
While the school does provide some learning and tutoring it is basically a daycare facility with proper playground!


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