A daycare situated inside Westminster United Church, which is set to close in June, is desperately searching for a new home.
Weston Village Childcare, which has 56 children and 10 staff, would like to stay within the community but so far hasn’t had luck finding a suitable spot, said supervisor Kim Cross.
“It’s pretty stressful,” she said. “We want to stay in the area so we can take the kids to Weston Memorial (Junior Public School). We haven’t been very successful. Either the space isn’t right, or it’s too far, or there is lack of green space.”
After meeting with the congregation, it was decided in late November/early December to close the church at 69 William St. for good, citing declining membership. The last service will be June 16.
“Of course parents are very concerned,” Cross said, adding daycare children range in age from 18 months to nine years old. “We want to be able to walk the kids to school and if we went a little bit further, we will have to secure a bus. We’re hoping within a month or two we’ll know who’s bidding to buy the church. We’re hoping it’s another church and we’ll be allowed to stay. It’s so sad the church is closing.”
Luisa Bada, who sits on the Weston Village Childcare’s board of directors and has two children attending the daycare, said she plans to keep her kids enrolled until a definite decision is made about the daycare’s future.
“There aren’t a lot of options unless I go with private home care,” she said, adding her kids, aged seven and eight, attend Weston Village Childcare before and after school.
“A lot of parents struggle with that choice, to put their kids in a home environment or centre. I wanted my kids in a centre. If the daycare closes, and there are no other centres I can send them to, I am forced into the home care environment. It’s not the choice I want. If a developer buys the church, we pretty much know we have to get out. If another congregation comes in, we stand a good chance of staying. If anybody has a site that might work we are willing to take a look.”