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Parents upset and concerned over closure of Troy day care center

May 30, 2019 11:09 PM

TROY – A day care center in Troy could soon be shutting its doors after St. Peter’s Health Partners decided to no longer partner with the center. It has left parents shocked and upset.

"The center has really become an extension of your family,” said parent Maggie Callahan who has two daughters that attend the Samaritan-Rensselaer Child Care Center.

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Another mother said her four-year-old son has been attending the center since he was a baby.

"He's a pretty shy, introverted little guy, but just comes alive at the school and feels safe, protected, comforted,” said parent Katie Coakley.

On Wednesday, parents received a letter which reads “St. Peter’s has decided to close the day care center on Sept. 15.”

 "It was just absolutely devastating,” said Coakley. “I was talking to a teacher in his classroom and just was dumbfounded, lost for words."

The letter went on to say the day care is working with a developer to try and get a new center built, but negotiations aren’t complete and a new center wouldn’t be done until Sept. 2020. That would leave more than 100 children without a place to go and staff at Samaritan- Rensselaer Child Care Center without a job.

"A waitlist for childcare these days is six months to a year,” said parent Erin Pihlaja. “To tell 100 different families that they have three months to find childcare for their kids is unacceptable."

Pihlaja and many parents want St. Peter’s Health Partners to continue to partner with the day care until a new partner is brought in and potential center is built.

“The hope is that the partners that exist currently will continue to partner with the center so they can bridge that gap to build a new center,” said Pihlaja.

St. Peter’s Health Partners released the following statement:

St. Peter’s Health Partners has decided to transition the Samaritan-Rensselaer Child Care Center in Troy to another organization specializing in day care operations. This was a very difficult decision, and we know the parents of children at the center may be saddened by the news. We are very proud of the center, its incredible staff, and the outstanding care they provide. However, the 92-year-old building is in need of extensive renovations, and estimates for this work exceed $3 million. We evaluated moving the center to another St. Peter’s Health Partners facility, but retrofitting office or hospital space for a day care center would also be prohibitively expensive.

As a result, we are seeking another organization or entity to take over the day care program and operate it independent of St. Peter’s Health Partners at another location. Specifically, we are seeking an organization that is committed to maintaining the high level of quality that parents expect from the center, and that is committed to maintaining commensurate qualifications and compensation for the center's employees. We hope to complete the transition process by September, but will try to be flexible with that date in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for the center's students and their parents.

Credits

Emily De Vito

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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