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  |  September 21, 2023

Playgroups in Crown Heights May Not Survive Pandemic

A director of a playgroup in Crown Heights tells COLlive.com they are facing an existential threat during Covid-19. "The landlords call expecting to be paid for their space, but tuition isn't being paid," she explains. Full Story

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May 20, 2020 7:06 pm

What makes you so different from the rest of the businesses that aren’t allowed to open but need to pay rent? All the people who are jobless right now? I feel bad for you but you are not in a special class. Unfortunately so many have lost their income, and need to pay rent in businesses that they have no income. My husband is one of them.

May 20, 2020 7:10 pm

Teachers And assistants should Go on unemployment. Discontinue renting until September. Landlords can hold on to it for you- because who else are they are finding at this time? Or you’ll start a new search in the Summer/ Fall.

Reply to  Unemployment
May 20, 2020 7:27 pm

Everyone that is in need of Assistance should file for Unemployment ASAP,
New York State is giving for all those that apply $1,1104 every Week ($4,416 every Month) Per Person in Unemployment Assistance https://www.ny.gov/services/get-unemployment-assistance

Reply to  Apply
May 20, 2020 7:43 pm

I mean $1104 A Week Per Person in Unemployment Benefits

From a Unemployment consultant
Reply to  Applying
May 20, 2020 8:45 pm

Correction MAX $1104
Most people are getting closer to $850
And after taxes its around $750.

Not accurate
Reply to  Applying
May 20, 2020 9:31 pm

Due to COVID19, Unemployment is currently paying an additional $600 per week on top of what one would have qualified for pre-COVID19. The maximum one could previously qualify for (based on income level — I.e., based on amount paid into unemployment find) under normal circumstances was $504 per week. So the MOST one can get during the COVID19 crisis is $1,104 per week. That doesn’t mean everyone will automatically get that amount if they wouldn’t have qualified for $504 per week under normal circumstances.

Report your income
May 20, 2020 7:13 pm

These playgroups, for the most part, do not report any income. Many only accept cash – I wonder why??? You didn’t want to give money to government, so don’t expect the government to give you money back. You don’t pay into the system, don’t expect the system to pay you. So when there is an economic downturn, government – which does not fund raise, it collects TAXES – creates programs for businesses, individuals, etc. These playgroups could have easily applied for the paycheck protection program. Oh wait, but they haven’t been licensed, haven’t paid taxes EVER. So all the money… Read more »

Reply to  Report your income
May 20, 2020 7:27 pm

Was about to write the same thing. I do feel sorry for your loss. Truly. Do consider though all the other benefits you’ve been getting by not reporting the income- whether it allows you to receive Medicaid or food stamps or headstart or at the very least allows you to keep the 30% the rest of us pay in taxes, and weigh that against the months of income you’ve now lost.

Landlords deserve there rent.
May 20, 2020 7:16 pm

The landlord has a mortgage to pay. They are intitled to there rent. You did rent the space.
If you want a break ask the bank / government to give the owner a break…

Reply to  Landlords deserve there rent.
May 20, 2020 8:05 pm

Many landlords are only asking for half the rent now, if the place is empty

No eviction moratorium in NYS
May 20, 2020 7:19 pm

No one can be evicted for non-payment of rent due to COVID in NY state. Many commercial and residential renters are doing this.

It's time to lower the rents!!
May 20, 2020 7:20 pm


Reply to  It's time to lower the rents!!
May 20, 2020 8:03 pm

plenty of cheaper places with good chinuch

May 20, 2020 7:32 pm

The exorbitant cost of the playgroups in CH is ridiculous too. Most young mothers are only able to take on part time jobs. After taxes deducted, and paying for 1-2 playgroups all the mother’s income is gone! Yes real estate is expensive for parents too!!

Practical Advice
May 20, 2020 7:39 pm

I feel terrible for all Yidden in this and similar predicaments – and there are many. May Hashem bring us all the yeshuos we need! Since as painful as it is it isn’t realistic to expect parents to pay for playgroup that isn’t happening, and can’t even continue in any real form online, I would suggest the following practical solution for playgroup Morahs who now can not pay their bills: Your best bet now would be to babysit for individual families – each Morah separately – and I am sure enough families with mother working remotely can use this service.… Read more »

Monetary help
May 20, 2020 7:43 pm

Can I get help for my rental thats not rented now due to covid 19

May 20, 2020 7:49 pm

Here is a Beautiful Article put together by CHYE Full of Resources for all those struggling and in need of Financial Assistance in Crown Heights https://collive.com/small-business-and-personal-assistance-for-affected-by-covid-19/

Umm please - who you fooling??
May 20, 2020 7:59 pm

Don’t try to frame your article as if you’re doing parents a courtesy by being there for us. It’s no secret everyone and their neighbor opens a playgroup cuz they can charge a BLOODY FORTUNE – in CASH!! Sorry, no sympathies from us parents who paid your inflated costs. You’ve been greedy, taking advantage of the need. Now you’re going to cry to those you’ve taken advantage of?? Is this for real?? And this is why you cant compare yourself to schools, we have an entirely different relationship with them: where you’re greedy they’re compassionate; where you take advantage they… Read more »

My brothers and sisters please.
May 20, 2020 8:06 pm

My fellow Chasidim, We just went through a crazy challenge we were literally ke’ish Chad blev echad, in it together and helping one another – let’s keep the harmony for just a few more moments. The author, like many of us is hurting – and needs our empathy and love. Let’s cut some lack and at least give the author a shoulder to lean on – wouldn’t we want the same. Dear playgroup director, we understand the challenging time you are going through. Know, that you are alone we are together with you. Hashem always helps. And thank you for… Read more »

This is the downside
May 20, 2020 8:11 pm

Of running illegally and not being able to file for unemployment or PPE. Think of all the money you saved on taxes all those years.

Sympathetic, but
May 20, 2020 8:24 pm

While I am sympathetic to the author and those in this situation, there are two points I’d like to point out:

Regarding the point made about schools still charging tuition, there are many, many teachers that are still teaching their full hours over the phone or zoom. So the parents are not “paying the full amount” and only “receiving very little”.

Secondly, I have heard of friends that while their children are currently not receiving anything from the playgroup, are still paying the full fees in order to “hold the spot”.

Others will happily step in
May 20, 2020 8:48 pm

Give up your spot and don’t worry about a “shortage” because so many new playgroups are waiting to open as soon as there is a void.

The basement rentak will be grabbed by the new playgroup and your “customers” will be grabbed too.

You made your money over the years. Now give someone else a chance to rack in the bucks.

Be respectful
May 20, 2020 9:52 pm

Playgroup teachers are loving and caring and put there heart and soul into your kids.. why are you bashing them!if your morah demands that pay should be going on even now that your the stupid parent to pay it!!!if there’s no service there’s koboay zoom is not counted

Understanding for each person in the situation
May 20, 2020 10:25 pm

Achdus brings Moshiach.

Understanding for each person in the situation
May 20, 2020 10:45 pm

Each person in the situation, parents, playgroup teachers, those who rent out their space..
for each one it’s difficult. Moshiach comes with aches. Let’s have understanding for each other.

Understanding for each person in the situation
May 20, 2020 10:47 pm

Each person in this situation, the play school directors and teachers, the parents, and the people who rent out their space – For each one it is difficult.
ACHDUS brings Moshiach. Let’s understand each other.

I feel For you
May 20, 2020 11:46 pm

To lose your parnassah is so difficult- and we so appreciate all you do.

Why cant playgroups reopen?
May 21, 2020 12:12 am

Acc to the the letter #29 from the “Gedalya society” that young families with children pose least risk and may begin to associate with one another- why cant playgroups with young morahs reopen?

Parents need to declare child care expense
May 21, 2020 2:55 am

They paid you cash and couldn’t deduct the childcare expense when they needed to. They were looking out for their wonderful, caring playgroup staff – and shouldering the tax expense so you wouldn’t have to.
The parents can’t be expected to do more. Especially that many of them are hurting financially as well – and have to juggle child care on their own.
Moreover, it’s not the landlords fault. The landlord gave you the space when you needed it – why “stiff” them bec you feel the parents are “stiffing” you?

Hatzlacha Rabba.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
May 21, 2020 5:17 am

All CH Playgroup Morahs, Teachers and anyone else that is currently not working should file for New York State Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), It is the same amount of Assistance given as regular Unemployment up to $1,104 Weekly / $4,416 Monthly Per Person in Pandemic Assistance, https://dol.ny.gov/pandemic-unemployment-assistance Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Eligibility is for the following below Self-employed; Have insufficient work history and affected by COVID-19 Independent contractor; Work for an app-based company (i.e. “gig worker”); Farmer; Diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVD-19 symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis; Living with a household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;… Read more »

My 2 cents
May 21, 2020 7:46 am

I would stop paying rent for the time being. The next thing I would do is open the playgroup. Safely. If your ratio is 1:5, then get 5 kids and a teacher. If it’s 1:6, then get 6 kids. Get a second teacher when you have enough kids. What’s stopping anyone from doing this? The Gestapo? You’re allowed to have small gatherings. Aderaba, while schools cannot open, it seems to me that the playgroups can start opening. Just have to be concerned about mosrim unfortunately

Reply to  My 2 cents
May 21, 2020 8:29 pm

Not paying for a space you are renting would be considered stealing.

Loving Morahs
May 30, 2020 8:02 pm

I am a bubby that picks up my grandchildren at various playgroups, and I can only say that the love and care that they have for the children is amazing.
Also, before you start shouting about their tax issues, ask yourself, do you not pay in cash sometimes on Kingston Avenue to avoid taxes….