Daycare Owner: Not only one to blame for bankruptcy

Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 30, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-30 23:29:23-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Sunday night decision to close a Henrico County daycare left some parents scrambling to find someone to watch their children Monday morning.

Parents tell CBS 6 they began getting phone calls from the Academy For Kids notifying them of the closure around 11 p.m. Sunday night.[FULL STORY: Henrico daycare closes, parents notified late Sunday night]

Apparently, not everyone got word as some parents still arrived early Monday to find the daycare’s doors locked at a note posted on the door.

“My daughter has asthma, she’s on a nebulizer that’s in there. Now who do I contact, ” said locked out parent Kimerly Willis. “I’m very emotional to just walk up and find this. Even getting a phone call at 11 o’clock and night is hurtful.”

Academy for Kids owner Philip Griffin told CBS 6 he and his wife met with an attorney around 9 p.m. Sunday night, and decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He said the center was not bringing in enough revenue to remain open. “We simply did not see any way out of our financial difficulties,” says Griffin.

Griffin tells us, the center put him in a financial bind, totaling close to 300 thousand dollars. “All we’ve done is put money into it. We even sold our car to make sure we could cover payroll previously,” says Griffin.

The Academy for Kids (formerly The Learning Tree) is on 5621 Corrugated Road had been operating in eastern Henrico County since 1994. On March 28, 2011, the center was purchased by family owned and operated Kiddos CDC, Inc. Griffin tells CBS 6, they’re seeing red because some parents weren’t making payments at all and the center’s former owner was recently charged with welfare fraud. Griffin says that charge instantly impacted Academy for Kids’ reputation. “ They didn't take it as two separate people. They took it as us. We immediately lost about 15 students,” says Griffin.

Most parents we spoke with said they were unsure what they were going to with the children today, let alone the next couple of weeks.

“I am in a bind,” said Tuwana Heinsdale. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I guess I’ll have to take off of work.”

“I feel like I was lied to,” Willis said. “I feel like things are hard enough with the economy as it is. Now to have to go and find another childcare provider.”

When asked by phone if any concessions would be made for the children and their parents, Griffin said there’s simply nothing he can do, but, parents who have a credit balance with the center will be refunded.