Buffalo Narrows Day-care close without warning

by Sabine Gibbins

Parents have been left to their own devices after a day-care centre was abruptly closed in Buffalo Narrows.

Betty Buckley, day-care centre director, could not be reached for comment by press time. However, a meeting was scheduled to be held this Thursday (July 26) in Buffalo Narrows regarding the situation.

Parent Cheryl Chartier said she is now “stuck for a sitter.”

She said they are not entirely sure of all the details surrounding the centre closing, but that she hopes answers come sooner rather than later.

The day-care centre is an independent organization and, until recently, parents, day-care teachers and the centre’s board of directors have been steadfastly fundraising for a new, more modern institution.

Chartier has been a client of the day-care centre since last year, her eldest boy attending already for a full year, and her youngest going for two-and-a-half months.

“I do have a sitter right now, but I’m jumping from one to the next,” Chartier said. “It’s difficult because no one wants to look after kids all day, every day.”

Nina Desjarlais said, although the situation has been challenging, she is thankful her mother can look after her children for the month of August.

“I’m going to have to be at work,” she said.

Her daughter, who attended the centre for two years, loved being there, Desjarlais added.

Parents and board members alike, she expressed, have been left upset and in a lurch.

“We are seeing the effects all over,” she said.

Many raffles have taken place over the course of the last few years, with the intent of putting the money aside for a new centre. But, that money has since disappeared, she said, and parents are left feeling neglected, hurt and upset after spending much of their free time raising money.

The building itself is in rough condition, and needs a more updated look, said Desjarlais.

A board of directors was brought in throughout the last year to get a more organized system in place for financial record-keeping.

Now, the community is scrambling to find babysitters or other forms of childcare, said Desjarlais, which is very challenging for those who relied on the day-care centre.

“It’s a big disappointment for all of us,” she said. “It’s hard to find a sitter, let alone one for eight hours.”

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