Henrico daycare closes, parents notified late Sunday night

Posted at 6:48 AM, Apr 30, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-30 13:43:12-04

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 Children notifying them of the closure around 11 p.m. 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.

Nearly 200 children attended The Academy for Kids. Some parents said they received a phone call about the closing at 11 p.m. Sunday night.

"I think it's messed up we didn't get any notice," said parent Scott Durgin. "You have a lot of people who depend on this facility."

Durgin tells CBS 6 he just paid his monthly childcare bill to the daycare.

"That was my first thought: well hey these people owe me some money," Durgin said.

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.

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.

The note posted on the building's door reads:

"Due to economic factors, Academy For Kids is closed as of today (4/30/12) My wife and I have agonized over this decision. However, after reviewing all other options, we have realized that we have no other choice. We apologize for the inconvenience we know this will cause our AFK families. We will miss all of you."

The Academy for Kids in Sandston employed 25 people, according to Griffin. CBS 6 has learned today was supposed to be their monthly payday.