Local day care closing, catching parents by surprise

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ROANOKE (WSLS10) - A local day care is closing its doors and it's catching parents by surprise. Kidz Connection, in Salem, will cease operation at the end of April.

Now parents are caught searching for answers and new child care.

"My 5-year-old was going to graduate from preschool this year," said local parent Christina Garnett. "Tuesday was going to be his pictures for his cap and gown and they cancelled the pictures."

Monday afternoon, she went to pick up her two kids at Kidz Connection, which is part of the Fellowship Community Church, and was handed an unexpected note.

In the memo, Fellowship Community Church leadership state the daycare is closing its doors April 29, only giving parents three weeks to find a solution.

"This puts us all in a bad position because we don't know why this is happening and they're not answering us," explained Garnett.

Garnett and other parents we spoke to who didn't want to talk on camera said they've tried reaching out to the center by Facebook and phone. They mentioned their calls and questions as to why this decision couldn't wait till the end of the school year, have been ignored.

In a statement, church leadership apologized for the inconvenience this has caused parents in securing another child care center and explained they tried to give as much notice possible for that reason.

"The teachers were great," commented Garnett. "They learned so much with them. We're sad to see it go, but we also want answers. We want to know why this is happening."

Also being a member of the parish, Garnett added she may look to find a new church if management continues to ignore her questions.

In response to the closing, Bethel Baptist Church said it will start an after-school program May 2.

Below is the full statement WSLS received from Fellowship Community Church:

"After much prayer and consideration the Elders of Fellowship Community Church have made the decision to close Kidz Connection effective Friday, April 29, 2016 – our Monday through Friday daycare. An announcement was made to all staff and the parents of the children we serve on Monday, April 4th.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our parents in securing another child care center, and for the staff in finding employment. We realize it has been a huge inconvenience, and we tried to give as much notice as possible for that reason. We are prayerful for each affected family or each affected individual. We encourage anyone struggling with this decision to contact us.

In 2008, FCC stepped out in faith and opened Kidz Connection. Our goal was to utilize our resources and offer a Christ-centered daycare for the families in our community. Throughout the years, we've experienced increased difficulty in providing consistent staff for our classrooms, which has made it difficult to provide the extraordinary care that we have set as a goal for ourselves.

Through the years we have enjoyed many wonderful experiences as we ministered to children and their families. Many have come through our hallways allowing us to touch their lives in different ways. We wish the circumstances could have allowed us to continue serving our community in this way."