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Parents scrambling to find daycare after Cedar Rapids facility closes

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:18 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Sixty different Iowa families were left looking for childcare after a Cedar Rapids facility announced it was closing due to COVID-19 and staffing issues.

Kids Inc.’s Cedar Rapids location, which serves 100 children, told parents about the closure on Wednesday, saying the facility would be closing on Friday. However, parents received a message on Thursday morning, saying it wouldn’t open again because of low staffing.

Parents are asked to come back Saturday morning to pick up any personal belongings left in the center.

The sudden closure means Chris Becker, who is an electrician, is at home watching his 1-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Becker said he is enjoying the extra time. But, he’s on the waitlist at multiple daycares.

“I know were first for a spot in a couple of places,” Becker said. “But most are saying until somebody withdraws or drops, we’re kinda stuck.”

He said he wishes the facility gave him more than a few days’ notice that his daughter’s daycare is closing.

“We just took a family vacation less than a month ago,” Becker said. “If I’d known, I wouldn’t have burned five days of vacay then.”

Kids Inc.’s Marion location said it has spots left for around 10 kids and is saving those spots for people from its Cedar Rapids location. Becky McNeal, who owns the daycare locations, said in an email she informed parents as soon as she could.

“I informed parents in a timely manner as soon as I was informed by my admin that there would not be enough staff to work their shift,” she wrote.

McNeal said in an email she didn’t have enough staff to safely watch children under the Department of Human Services regulations. A spokesperson from the Department of Human Services told us the daycare providers’ license for its Cedar Rapids location expires on Sunday, and it has chosen not to renew its license.

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