CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Schools announced Tuesday plans to close three child daycare centers by the end of March, impacting 120 children and 40 staff members.
Early Childhood Education Executive Director Bob Calhoun said the agency began reviewing the West Virginia Public Employees Daycare, Elk Center Daycare and Shawnee Daycare about a year ago.
“We were given the directive by our supervisors to start looking at each program for profit and loss. When we started looking at these three programs in particular they lost money every month,” Calhoun said.
That loss has been $65,000 since the school year began.
“In the past we’ve been able to prop up our daycares by our On-Deck and Third-Base programs but we’re now starting to cut in to the complete Community Education budget and it’s something we can no longer afford,” Calhoun said.
The school system hopes to help parents find other locations for their children. Calhoun believes there’s enough space open in Kanawha County to absorb the need.
Calhoun said the school system daycares have probably been a little too inexpensive over the years.
“Our goal was to be the cheapest game in town because we have no overhead as far as buildings go,” he said. “There are repairs needed to be made at Public Employees (daycare) that we just couldn’t afford to make.”
The Kanawha County Community Education program operates four before school programs (On Deck) and 21 after school programs (Third Base).