Local daycare closes, parents given 3 days to search for childcare providers

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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Some Perry County parents relying on daycare face a big problem. Hazard Lions Club Montessori is closing on Thursday.

Parents of nearly 60 children must now find a new childcare provider.

Those who sent their kids to the Montessori say they thought of it as more of a head start than a daycare.

"By the time they were in kindergarten, they could already read," Jon Jon Wood said.

Notified on Monday, parents were given only three days notice that the Hazard staple in early childhood education would close. Now desperate parents are frantically making calls needing to find their children daycare before Friday arrives.

"She had prayed before she called that we would have a spot available," Susan Norman, the owner of Learn & Play Child Care Center said. "I guess she had called a few other daycares and they said no as well."

There's a problem though. Most of the daycares in Perry County are full.

"We are packed every day. We are at capacity. We do not have any more room for any more children," Norman said.

Wood says this creates a chain reaction of sorts for parents.

"You have a job, and you take your kid there. That's kind of the routine. When that goes away, that offsets the job. That offsets where the parents have to be," he said.

The letter given to parents states economic circumstances, declining population, and even the federal shutdown are to blame.

Lions Club President Cindy Francis apologizes for the inconvenience but says food and utilities were just too expensive. She says the reason for short notice is simply needing to close at the end of the month.

Parents now worry about the future of their children's care.

"Without the Montessori ... they would have been the same children, but it opened a lot of doors for them I guess," Wood said.

Norman says she just wishes the doors could stay open on a daycare that meant so much more to so many.

"I pray that they can find daycare and I pray for the workers and the kids," she said.

Lions Club members say they hope to eventually sell the building to pay off a current mortgage.

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