Southbury childcare center closes, leaves parents scrambling - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Southbury childcare center closes, leaves parents scrambling

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Clockwork Learning Center. (WFSB photo) Clockwork Learning Center. (WFSB photo)

A childcare center in Southbury abruptly closed its doors, and according to parents, left them, their children and employees on their own.

Clockwork Learning Center shut down on Friday.

Parents and staff members said they were only given a few days notice.

Eyewitness News left several messages with Clockwork owner David Lyme. The calls have not been returned.

Now many parents have been scrambling to find new daycares.

"It’s devastating for families to give them three day’s notice to find a new daycare," said Christy Ford, a parent in Southbury.

Ford said she is angry and hurt by the sudden closure. She said she and her husband work. Their daughter, Lillianna, needs daycare.

"Because I’m just back to work from maternity leave, my husband and I are taking turns going different places and we have to make a decision today," she said.

In a letter to parents and staff, Lyme said the business simply couldn't go forward.

"There are no funds to do so and the landlord has made the decision," Lyme wrote. "Costs have increased and it has finally caught up with us.”

While some families are scrambling for a new place, others are faring better. That doesn't mean they're happy about it, however.

Holly Sullivan said she's a single mother whose 2-year-old has been coming to Clockwork for most of her life.

"To try to explain that to 2-year-old with just a few days notice is very difficult, not to mention the relationships she has with her teachers," she said.

Sullivan said she was able to find another daycare.

"Thank goodness," she said. "Those daycares are all scrambling to find space for the 20 children here.”

Some parents said they're concerned about paid deposits. They want them back.

The workers are also worried. One who spoke with Eyewitness News didn't want her name revealed or face shown.

She said she came to work on Friday knowing she may not be paid for her final day.

"I feel bad for the parents, the kids, the coworkers," she said. "We may as well stick it out, but it’s still not right to parents [and] us.”

She said several of her paychecks have bounced in recent weeks.

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood said closing a daycare center without 30 days notice is a violation of state law.

It and the attorney general's office said they've opened investigations.

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