WXXI AM News

Stepping Stones closure catches many off guard

Jun 29, 2017

Credit Spectrum News

The sudden closing  of a daycare and classroom operation in Irondequoit is causing concern for hundreds of local families.

Parents with children who attend Stepping Stones Learning Center learned on Wednesday that the Irondequoit facility will close on Friday. But then on Thursday,  the facility reportedly told parents the daycare would close Thursday and would not be available on Friday.

There was a meeting for staff and families on Thursday evening.

The board chair, Gregory George, released a statement saying that Stepping Stones closed,  “as a result of financial necessity,” and that happened after “considering the findings of an operations assessment.” George says that the board determined “the best course of action is to help families we serve understand their options and to help them transition to other supports available in the community for the care and services they need."

Stepping Stones is a not-for-profit which provides services for children from birth to 21 years of age, both with and without special needs.

Hundreds of families are expected to be impacted.

The Mary Cariola Children’s Center is considering adding a couple of classrooms to help some of the Stepping Stones students with special needs. Some approvals are needed for that to happen, and Mary Cariola would then be able to aid 16 students.

Mary Cariola provides educational services for underserved students and those with special needs.

The NYS Office of Children and Family Services issued this 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. "

The NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) issued this statement:

The continuity and quality of services is OPWDD’s top priority.  We have already begun to work with providers in the area to assist individuals receiving services in transitioning to other providers.”