A long-time metro daycare will soon close its doors.
The Rose State Child Development Lab Center announced it is closing and then gave parents 30 days to find new childcare. Parents are scrambling and upset with Rose State College over the decision.
The child development center has been serving the metro for 30 years. It was recently nationally accredited, but Rose State College said it decided to close the facility due to staffing shortages.
"We were heartbroken, we were heartbroken. We've grown very close to the teachers there, our daughter is very attached to her teachers and we honestly don't know what we're going to do," said Skylar McElhaney.
McElhaney's 4-year-old daughter is enrolled at the center. She said the announcement came after the deadline had already passed to enroll her 4-year-old daughter in public school pre-kindergarten.
"They're saying they can't find teachers, but they have a teaching program, so I'm not sure why they can't find teachers to staff the facility," said McElhaney.
The Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Rose State College, Dean Fisher, said the students in the teaching program are not qualified to work at the child center.
Parents cannot believe Rose State gave them such short notice to find other childcare.
"It has a very good reputation, it has close to a year-waiting list and anybody knows to go to one that is just as equal to do it in 30 days is nearly impossible," explained Heath Tejeda.
Parents have started a Facebook page called "Save Rose State College CDLC," demanding answers and pushing to keep the center open. They feel like they were left in the dark during all the discussions and decision-making process.
"Our tax money pays to fund that college and yet it's like they're doing it as a secret club," Tejeda added.
According to the website, the child center has 11 teachers.
Fisher said the center had staffing gaps with the director, assistant director, five teachers and one support staff member this year.
"Money has not been the driving force in this decision," explained Fisher. "There is no hidden agenda, there is no plan to use the facility for some other purpose," he said.
Fisher said the college tried shifting some personnel around to help with short-term staffing problems, but that was not a long-term solution.
June 30th is the last day the center will be open.