Parents on the hunt after sudden Shelton day care closing
Many area families are now hunting for a new day care provider with the impending closing of Building Blocks Early Learning Center off Bridgeport Avenue.
Parents were notified on Nov. 5 that Building Blocks of Shelton, located in a house at 1079 Bridgeport Ave., will officially close on Dec. 20. Those parents using the program can continue to pay for service and remain until the closing date, said company officials, adding that reimbursements will be provided to those who find another provider.
“It is with heavy hearts that we do this,” said Amanda Goodwin, director of marketing at Little Sprouts, parent company of Building Blocks, which also has two facilities in Stamford, one in Wilton. “Now our focus is on helping these families find alternative care.”
One parent, Jennifer Chirles, in an email to Hearst Connecticut Media, said she was charged for the month of November and “requested a prorate or some sort of agreement in order to place my son in his next school, to which I was denied because I am not giving 30 days notice.”
Chirles stated that Building Blocks’ “contract with parents does not include any clause regarding their business actions or closing up their business. So all of the parents and families are screwed and the business does not acknowledge their role this … I’m concerned that this could happen to other people.”
Goodwin said the company did not “sit on” information about the closing. Staff were told first after the decision to close was made. Less than 24 hours later, Goodwin said parents were informed.
Goodwin said while November tuition was collected as normal, Building Blocks will be issuing reimbursement for any days of care not used due to the closing.
“This means that while families can stay enrolled through our official closure, should they find care before then, we will reimburse them for the days of service not used,” added Goodwin.
In a letter to parents dated Nov. 6, Building Blocks President Lindsay Hoffman and Christine Aiken, the president of education, stated that the closing was due to budget constraints.
“While we love the home-like setting of this location, it has unfortunately proven too difficult to make financially sustainable,” they wrote.
Hoffman and Aiken said that the company will assist in any way to ease the transition for parents. The company has offered parents the opportunity to tour one of the three other Building Blocks locations and Child World’s Academy in Monroe, located some 10 minutes away from the Shelton center.
“We are truly sorry for the challenges associated with this change,” the letter reads. “It is our sincere hope that we will be able to assist in the creation of transition plans for each family that has entrusted us. We remain ever grateful for our community of families and staff at Building Blocks Shelton.”