Stepping Stones Learning Center shuts down on Thursday

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A day after telling parents Stepping Stones Learning Center would shut down Friday, the child care center has abruptly closed.

Parents tell News 8 that they were told Thursday afternoon to pick up their children immediately. One parent tells News 8 that she was told the child care center abruptly closed due to financial reasons.

"Basically the bank said they have to shut this down now because they can't go into anymore debt because there's no money in the payroll to cover their paychecks," said parent Alison Tuff. 

She and other parents gathered for a meeting at the center at 6p.m. Thursday to figure out what was going on.

News 8 was not allowed inside, but parents leaving the building told us what was discussed.

“They were told by someone, if you can't meet your [ financial ] goals by 3p.m., your doors are shut,” Parent Colleen O’Connell said.

Employees of Stepping Stones received the statement from Kelly LoVullo, the organization's human resource manager:

Staff,

While I am able to give you the physical check for your records, I must inform you that we have been notified by the bank that they will not honor these checks if deposited or cashed. Whatever you deicde to do with this check, just know that you will be responsible for any fees associated with it bouncing. We have notified the department of labor and provided them with the hours you have worked as well as the amount of money due to you. They have toldus that they will fight on our behalf.

Stepping Stones provided help to over 500 families with children with special needs -- now those families have to find somewhere else to go.

The Office of Children and Family Services released the following statement:

Stepping Stones Learning Center has advised OCFS that it will return its license and close at the end of this week. OCFS is prepared to answer questions parents may have and recommends any parent seeking child care options consult with the Monroe County Child Care Council; the council is aware and ready to assist. Parents may also access the child care database on the OCFS website at ocfs.ny.gov.

For additional resources on where to turn for help, visit www.childcarecouncil.com or call the Child Care Council at 585-654-4720.

News 8 and RochesterFirst.com will provide updates as more information becomes available.


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