Dozens of Regina families found out Monday that their daycare has been closed for non-payment of rent.
Some parents arrived at Rising Stars Crèche Daycare and Learning Centre in the morning to find the doors closed and a notice indicating the centre owes $7,439.25 to the landlord of the building, which is at a strip mall in the Gardiner Park neighbourhood.
"This is a social service to the community, you just don't close it," said Aseye Johnson, who has two young children at the daycare, and is also on the daycare's board of directors.
"Parents have been here since 7 o'clock. Like, where do we go from here?"
Parents Candice Hu and Michael Meng were also taken by surprise when they tried to drop off their six-year-old son, Mason.
"I don't really know, and I talked to the director and she told me that that the landlord locked the door yesterday, and they just stuck multiple notices on the glass," Hu said.
Sarah Awuah, the operator of the licensed daycare, spoke with CBC News about the financial difficulties the daycare has been experiencing.
She says she was denied a government grant to help with the startup of the daycare. She later went to the government to ask for money to stay open, but that hasn't come through.
"We are talking about the life of children," she said. "We have children from eight months old up to about 12 years old that depend on us for child care services. And there's a need for child care services in Regina."
The Ministry of Education responded in an email to CBC, saying funding for childcare spaces is allocated based on community need, and that centres without funding are placed on a list for future consideration.
Two ministry staff were at the Rising Stars Crèche this morning. The government says they are assisting parents in finding alternate childcare arrangements.
-reprinted from CBC News Saskatchewan