CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A closure date for three financially-strapped day care centers in Kanawha County is being extended to late June, and officials are working on a plan to possibly continue operation, but parents can expect tuition hikes.
The West Virginia Public Employees Daycare, the Shawnee Daycare and the Elk Center Daycare announced earlier this week they could close by March 28 or sooner, citing a yearslong financial deficit and the loss of $65,000 this school year.
At Wednesday's Kanawha County Board of Education meeting, that date was extended to June 28, and Superintendent Ron Duerring said possible solutions are in the works.
"We're looking to resolve those issues. I think now we're in some negotiations," Duerring said. "What most people don't know is that we only are the facilitators of that program. That isn't our program. We don't own the buildings. We just facilitate."
The three centers, which currently serve 120 families and employ 40 people, are operated by the Kanawha County Schools Community Education Program and do not receive any funding from the public school system.
The rates at those centers are lower than many of the county's other day care services, and if the three facilities stay open, parents can expect significant fee increases, Duerring said.
"The only option we have in order to run these centers efficiently is to increase fees and see if the programs can become viable," Duerring said. "Some good things are going to happen out of this because we're getting cooperation from some good people."
"It'll be costly. We're very low for the amount that we charge, if you look around town," he said. "So probably we're going to have to increase our fees dramatically."