KEYSER - The director of the Keyser WeeCare Daycare, Chris Robinette, posted to social media earlier this week that she was saddened to announce that the center would be closing it's doors with almost ten years of service to the community.
By Barbara High
Tribune Staff Writer
KEYSER - The director of the Keyser WeeCare Daycare, Chris Robinette, posted to social media earlier this week that she was saddened to announce that the center would be closing it’s doors with almost ten years of service to the community.
The center’s last day was Friday.
The daycare, run by Keyser Assembly of God Church, had just been voted Best Daycare by the community in the recent Best of the Best contest held by the Mineral Daily News Tribune, and the closing was short notice for the families that use the daycare. The announcement left many parents rushing to find suitable replacement childcare.
According to Robinette, the daycare center most recently cared for 60 kids and offered a pre-k program.
Several staff for the center resigned recently, however, including Robinette, and the church then chose to close the doors rather than rehire employees.
No comment was made on the reason for the resignations.
The center was a large part of the community and gave back in various ways. They did Trees for Troops, collected items for the VA Hospital, sent Christmas cards for the military, collected slippers for Piney Valley, collected for flood victims, participated with making shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and collected for and supported many missionaries over the years.
Robinette said those were just a few of the community services the center had performed, including raising almost $11,000 for St. Judes Children’s Hospital.
The effects on the families that use the center have been harsh. Jamie Pritts, who has used the center for awhile, said there was very little notice. “We were told on Monday and the fourth is a holiday and most places are closed on the weekend,” he said. “That left us essentially three days to figure out what to do.”
Pritts and his wife both work and said quality daycare is hard to find. He said right now they were going to have to rely on family for help.
Some of the families affected don’t have that option.
Pritts said he could not emphasize enough that he felt there was no better daycare facility in the area. “I never once had to worry about my daughter while in their care,” he said.
It wasn’t just current families that use the daycare speaking out on the closing. Parents that formerly used the center spoke on the closing and what a great loss it was to the community. Christine Taylor used the daycare facility and the pre-k program for her two youngest children. She said they learned fundamental skills that were needed to be successful students when they hit mainstream public school. Taylor said her children came home and would tell her how much fun they had and how they loved their teachers.
“It’s a true loss for the area,” she said.
The families are not the only ones that are feeling the loss of the center. Robinette says she will be missing the faces of the children and the staff, and it was going to be hard.
Robinette and some of the other staff have even begun to watch some of the kids privately in their homes. This will helps some of the families, yet there are many more still trying to locate daycare for their children.
Many families have become frustrated with lack of daycare programs in the area.
Calls to the Keyser Assembly of God Church were not answered, and their Facebook page has been taken down. The Wee Care Daycare page is still up, with support from parents and the community pouring in.