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Editorial: Child care losses

Again, thanks for only going by what you've been told by TFI. Well rounded. Yes change is inevitable, and TFI cherishes working with children so much, but why can't they wait three months until the end of the school year so families (and teachers) wouldn't be left in a lurch? I was at a parents meeting on Tuesday, and was notified of the closure on Wednesday. Say what you will, but that's not right, and I don't care how no-frill-boo-state-funding you are. In your heart of hearts, you know it's not right.

Yes, change is inevitable. But maybe the anger from families is because the only explanation that we got was from what we read in the paper. TFI never directly told us why. They refused to meet with us, or take phone calls, they removed their comments section on their facebook page, shut down their Twitter account, and then deleted the Sunshine Acres facebook page altogether. All we got was a letter that stated a "corporate decision" as the reason for closing. When they started to get a little heat, they blamed it on the recession. Then suddenly the story changed to a drop in enrollment, then it changed again to the loss of the United Way grant. Actually it seems that they also lost their fostering grant, which leads one to wonder why that was.

In the months leading up to the closure, TFI tried to turn Sunshine Acres into a money maker. They bullied parents and raised their tuition prices with no notice. The only time TFI communicated with the families was when it was about money, usually of the ‘give us more’ kind. While I know that many people will say that if a business isn't making money, then it should be closed. What if that business is a non-profit?

At the end of the day, TFI can do what they want. However, I question the motives of a company that claim to put families first and then pulls a move like this. Teachers without jobs, kids with nowhere to go (don't believe me? ask any parent about the mile long waiting lists at all over town), and the effect that has on families that depend on daycare to hold jobs. Not to mention that TFI is already picking the school clean when students are still in attendance.

TFI has successively marketed their story to the media. No one has any interest in the families and our story, content to write us off a group of whiny parents. That is not the case. We just made the mistake of being involved in our school and those that care for our children nine hours a day. We care that a school that has been around over 40 years is being dismissed by the community with the wave of a hand (I shudder to think of the outrage if this were Free State Brewery). The teachers at Sunshine Acres are the most amazing individuals and have helped mold my children into smart, well rounded individuals.
Now the building is relieved of duty, and will house the offices of TFI. Gone will be the laughter and love that filled the hallways, but that's OK. It’s just change.

January 29, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two child care facilities to close in Lawrence

Yes, the parents of SSA are upset about the school closing. But it would have been much easier to handle had TFI handled the situation with even the smallest amount of compassion. All we got was" it was a corporate decision. " So yeah, we're pissed because they could have had the decency to wait four months so the school year would be over and there might be a way to find other care. You've got 90 some families scrabbling for places to put their kids. The body isn't even cold and their in there inventorying and monitoring class size to see if it shrinks before they close. This is the same company that fosters and adopts children. I wonder why they lost that foster grant? The wouldn't even talk to the parents or return calls - nothing. All we got was the middle finger and "thanks for the money."

January 28, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two child care facilities to close in Lawrence

Your comment lacks clarity.

January 24, 2013 at 11:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two child care facilities to close in Lawrence

Yep, Like going from charging a dollar for every minute that you were late to FIVE dollars for every minute, plus tuition went up 6% TWO months ago, so it's not like they even had time to figure out if the price increases were working. They closed it because they wanted to save money. Plus they could have waited until May, the end of the school year, so there might be a fighting chance for families to get into other places. The best part is that they won't respond to parents phone calls or questions.

January 24, 2013 at 9:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two child care facilities to close in Lawrence

They had other schools besides SSA.

January 24, 2013 at 9:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Two child care facilities to close in Lawrence

Oh no, no, no. This isn't half the story. As SSA parents, we were given 30 days notice, in the middle of the school year mind you, that they were closing. They gave the parent's no explanation and this article is as close to a reason that anyone has gotten, but not directly from TFI. There were close to 100 families there and TFI made over 7 million dollars last year. They closed down a school that has been around for 40 years with no warning to the families, and now there is no place for us all to go. I REALLY wished the LJW would have spoken to someone else besides these guys. T

January 24, 2013 at 7:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Will you miss Milton's?

Are our playgrounds too safe?

November 23, 2012 at 5:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Taking a look at restaurant violations

Well, if you think that the employees at The Merc look scruffy, you should see the kitchen.

July 24, 2012 at 6:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Planning commissioners recommend developer cut the artificial grass at new Lawrence apartment complex

Don't forget that the same development team installed this junk at the Oread.

August 26, 2011 at 2:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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