After opening its doors in 2010, Grace Cathedral Child Development Center on Oswego Highway will be closing on Friday after failing to operate on its own funds for more than seven years.
The reason is simply financial, said Chaste'y …
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The reason is simply financial, said Chaste'y Rayford-Gibson, assistant pastor at Grace Cathedral Sumter and overseer of the childcare center, during a meeting with parents on Monday. The church has been providing funds to keep the daycare running for a long time.
"Really, the daycare should have been closed last year," Rayford-Gibson said. "And we kept prolonging it until we got to the place where we just financially couldn't do it anymore."
She said parents were not notified about the financial issue months ago because the church was trying to find ways to keep the childcare facility open.
"We kept trying to pull from other resources," she said.
Daycare staff offered to help in any way, but that means they would have basically had to work for free, she said.
The facility was originally built to house multiple community programs, but those activities had to stop once the daycare started because of the presence of children, said William Hairston, pastor of finances. Originally, the plan was to build a separate structure for the daycare center after three years.
Hairston said the current facility is also in need of repairs that daycare fees can-not cover.
All of the bills for the child development center and church have been paid, Hairston said, and closing the daycare is a proactive measure to prevent things from getting worse.
Since the closure was announced in letters sent out to parents, Rayford-Gibson has been providing references for parents to help them find other childcare services as well as information to receive vouchers for some children.
At its peak, the center had about 150 children and about 50 when it was announced that it would be closing.
"Thank you," Rayford-Gibson said, "for allowing us to love on your kids for as long as we have."
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