Sudden Calgary daycare closure leaves parents scrambling

Parents are looking for answers – and a refund – after receiving news that their daycare would suddenly close indefinitely. 

Early Foundations child care owners have mysteriously disappeared, staff say

Parents like Gurbir Kaur were stunned to find a handwritten note affixed to the door of the Early Foundations child care Friday morning that relayed the news that the daycare would be closed indefinitely. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

Parents are looking for answers – and a refund – after receiving news that their daycare would suddenly close indefinitely. 

A handwritten note attached to the front door of the Early Foundations daycare located in Calgary's northeast read that the location would "temporarily close for an undetermined duration of time."

But the dozens of parents who received the news on Thursday from staff, like Gurbir Kaur, now find themselves in need of alternatives.

"When I was here to pick up my son in the evening, I was told that the daycare would be closed, as the owner is not here and was not responding to them," said Kaur. "So I was shocked."

Kaur's son had been attending daycare full time at Early Foundations, and she said she had already paid $1,100 for the month's services.

"It was so hard – I can't explain it in words. When I went home, I was thinking about this the whole night," she said. "What happened? Everything was so good here. I trusted them."

Kaur said staff told her that they had also not been paid, and without contact with the owner, they were forced to cease service.

A spokesperson for Alberta children's services minister wrote in a statement that members of the department were on site Friday.

"This is an unfortunate and very difficult situation for these parents," the statement reads. "The closure is not a result of any child care licensing decision – this daycare has made their own business decision."

Calgary parent Gitesh Patal said his four-year-old daughter was distraught after learning she would have to attend a new daycare. (Lucie Edwardson)

Parent Gitesh Patal said it would be difficult to find another daycare suitable for his daughter in the area that still made sense for his budget.

"We work minimum wage so it's very hard for the [daycare] charges. It's good that we get the subsidy, but I don't know how long it's going to last," Patal said. 

Patal said he has been forced to seek out alternative daycare options for Monday and may be forced to take time off from work.

"We cannot lose our jobs, which is very hard to find these days with the recession going on," he said. "So I'm very stressed out as well."

With files from Lucie Edwardson


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