‘You need to come get your children immediately’: Parents jarred by sudden closure of childcare centers

It was a call that stunned hundreds of parents, “You need to come get your children immediately. We will explain when you get to the centre.”

That’s the message Shayla Galenza says she received around 3 pm on Thursday.

She had two children, an infant and a three-year-old, attending the Kidorable Children’s Care Center on Jim Ashton Street, in the area of ​​Oxford and Second Street.

It’s one of two Kidorable locations in London. The second is on Trafalgar Street near Vancouver Street.

Both locations now have notices from the Ministry of Education posted in the front entrance, saying the centers have been closed due to concerns raised, citing a “protection order” to immediately stop providing child care — It’s the same notice parents were handed as they came to pick up their children.

Galenza says when she arrived, staff were greeting parents outside holding clear plastic garbage bags with their children’s belongings inside.

“The staff has been absolutely remarkable,” said Galenza. “I can’t say how thankful we are for the staff and how far out of their way they’ve gone to make their kids feel safe and at home.”

Parents say, along with ministry representatives, London Police Service members and City of London officials were also on hand as children were being picked up.

A Ministry of Education notice posted in the front entrance of the Kidorable Child Care Center at 1697 Trafalgar St. on June 17, 2022. (Gerry Dewan/CTV News London)Galenza says she actually had to leave her work, along with her manager who also had a child at the Jim Ashton Street location, in order to pick her children up.

She told CTV News the challenge now is finding other daycare alternatives. The notice from the Ministry of Education includes a website and a contact name and number.

According to Galenza, the Kidorable locations opened in October and she was thankful they did, because she was already facing two-year waitlists at other daycare operations.

She said parents are trying to support each other, with some offering to take in other children while new spaces are identified, but she’s frustrated by the lack of information about the issues related to the Kidorable closures and why there couldn’t be more notice.

Social media sites have been flooded with speculation, questions and concerns about the Kidorable Childcare Centres.

The notice from ministry was issued to the Altaqwa Academy Foundation, operating as Kidorable Child Care Centres.

The Academy Foundation headquarters are identified online as being at a Churchill Avenue location.

A private school is run at that location and a spokesperson inside the school has no link to the Kidorable Child Care Centres.

CTV News called the phone number tied to Kidorable. The line has a generic answering machine message. A message was left but so far there has been no response.

CTV News has also sent an email to the ministry’s communications department regarding the Kidorable situation.

The ministry has acknowledged receipt of the email but hasn’t provided further details.

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