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UPDATE: Kanawha County Daycares Could Stay Open Until End of June

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UPDATE 2/19/14 @ 4:05 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three daycares in Kanawha County that are planning to close could stay open until the end of June.

Tuesday, Bob Calhoun with Kanawha County Schools told WSAZ.com they are shutting down the West Virginia Public Employees, Elk Center Elementary and Shawnee daycares.

Wednesday, Calhoun said that they will keep the daycares open if they can keep the staff in place.

Right now, the daycares are scheduled to close on March 28th.

Calhoun says the daycares would still operate at a loss until June. He says the decision comes after evaluating the impact the closings would have on students and families.

The move affects 120 children and 40 staff members will lose their job.

Calhoun says the daycares have lost $65,000 since the beginning of the school year.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/18/14 @ 12:20 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Three daycares in Kanawha County are closing after losing thousands of dollars.

Bob Calhoun with Kanawha County Schools tells WSAZ.com they are shutting down the West Virginia Public Employees, Elk Center Elementary and Shawnee daycares.

The move affects 120 children and 40 staff members will lose their job.

Calhoun says they met with the workers to go over how to apply within the school system and explore other options.

Calhoun says the daycares have lost $65,000 since the beginning of the school year.

Anna Marie Short has a 2-year-old daughter who attends the Shawnee Daycare Community Center in Dunbar. Short was disappointed to hear about the closings.

"It's really sad,” Short said. “It's part of the community. My kids love to attend this school. They have great teachers. They have good training. We love it here."

Paul Mendez has brought his son to that daycare since he was a few weeks old. He says the staff almost feels like an extended family.

"Teachers come to his birthday parties,” Mendez said. “It's like a family here. We're going to really hate leaving."

Officials blame increasing costs, decreasing enrollment and costly repairs. They also say rising expenses with the Affordable Care Act are a concern.

"Part of the problem is it's a high pupil/teacher ratio because of the age of the students,” Calhoun said. “The younger the student, the more adults you have to have on staff."

The last day the daycares will close for good on March 28.

The daycares are operated through the Community Education Program which also handles 21 after school programs and four before school programs.

Calhoun says at this point those programs will continue, but they will have to continue to look at the costs.


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