Parents decry daycare’s closing

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Parents are left wondering where to bring their kids after a daycare shut down without warning.

And if you believe the New Haven School District, we’re in the final days of their Day Care Program’s existence.

On Wednesday, district officials notified parents that on June 30 the Early Childhood Learning Center, or ECLC, located at Immanuel Baptist Church, will be closing in place of other programs run by “community partners.”

It’s news that parents who have kids that participate in the program tell News 8 is one that caught them by surprise and now has them looking for answers.

In a statement sent to us from a spokesperson from the school district in part she explains the reason for the move:

The decision to transition to community-based early childhood care providers has both financial and educational reasons. Financially, the program requires a high number of staff for a relatively small number of students and was not sustainable in the short or long term. While the change will create almost a half million dollars of annual savings for the district, the goal is also to transition care of infants and toddlers to longtime community partners that specialize in providing that kind of care, so that the district can focus on pre-k and kindergarten.

But parents say it’s an excuse that they find unacceptable.

“We need somewhere to take our kids during the day while we’re working,” said Vanessa Miller-Dicks. “It’s expensive for us to live so we need our jobs so we need somewhere to put our kids. I don’t care about expenses.”

“They gave us a list of other daycares we can put them in,” said Watonia Willett. “I did my homework and none of them have openings until September, so what do we for them?

We also spoke with New Haven’s superintendent about the transition and his plan doesn’t seem to line up with what parents are saying.

“We’re having individual meetings with each family,” Garth Harries said. “We’re counseling each family individually about what may be the best option for them.”

The ECLC currently supervises some 32 infants and toddlers. Parents say the fight to keep this education program up and running is just beginning. They plan to lobby the Board of Education to find a new solution to the apparent money problems.

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