A Bend childcare facility shut down with nearly no notice to parents and staff Monday night. But 24 hours later, a Central Oregon non-profit is stepping up to give those parents some peace of mind.
The surprise closure left around 70 kids and their families without childcare as of Tuesday morning.
“How do we alleviate and support these families when, you know, there was really no notification of their program closing,” said Hannah Kuehl, Associate Director of Grants Management for NeighborImpact Childhood Resources.
Inspire Early Learning Center originally stated it was closing at the end of the month and would reopen in October as Sunshine Academy. But the facility decided to close its doors Tuesday, citing financial reasons. The parents were notified Monday night, leaving countless scrambling to find alternatives.
“The big issue was services stopping immediately and so families being left with three weeks without child care, which had a huge impact on all of those 70 some families who needed it and relied on it,” Kuehl said.
“We understand how difficult it is to make it as a child care provider and in the system, and then how difficult it is for families to find access and affordable care,” Kuehl said.
Central Oregon is already a childcare desert, so options were slim for the Inspire kids and their parents. But thanks to NeighborImpact, the doors are reopening Thursday. The non-profit is using a one-time grant funding to keep the facility running until Sunshine Academy reopens in October.
“The amount of funding will be to cover teachers and all expenses needed to continue service, and so they will be provided the amount of funding that is needed,” Kuehl said.
NeighborImpact is only covering operational costs. Parents and families already paid for childcare during the month of September and, therefore, will not have to pay again.
NeighborImpact said it was notifying parents late Tuesday about the facility reopening.
Parents also said that when the facility becomes Sunshine Academy in October, it will come with a 33% price increase.
When child care programs are forced to close, there is a huge impact to the families and the communities involved.
NeighborImpact says communication and collaboration with boy inspire and sunshine was a major key to continue to provide child care to a community that needs it.
Several parents Central Oregon Daily News contacted declined to be interviewed.