Local News

WakeMed Day Care Center Remains Open

Posted July 5, 2002

— More than 200 children of WakeMed employees call Kidworks a second home, but for how much longer?

The private company that runs Kidworks wants out of its contract with WakeMed and was threatening to close as early as Friday.

The owner of WPO Care Incorporated, the company that runs Kidworks, met with teachers behind closed doors and came up with a solution to keep the place open at least for now.

But if the solution is not permanent, Amy Fullen and her son, Joshua, may be looking for a new daycare.

If WakeMed were to take over, it would have to hire all new teachers because WPO's contract will not allow them to work for any other daycare provider for a two-year period.

"They're like family. They treat our children like their own, and I cannot imagine bringing him here every day and not having the teacher he's had," Fullen said.

Under that secenario, 52 teachers could be out of jobs and WakeMed would have to scramble to keep the daycare open.

"It's upsetting when we don't know if we're even going to have a place to bring our child," Fullen said. "Personally, we have to find another daycare or my husband and I are going to have to take turns taking days off until they can find somebody else to come in and take over."

Two weeks ago, all 52 teachers at Kidworks received checks that bounced. WakeMed ended up helping them get their checks.

Hospital officials say if the daycare shuts down, it could take up to two weeks to get it fully up and running again, which leaves parents and kids stuck.

The normal hours for the five-star-rated day care center are from 5 a.m. to midnight. Parents say finding a place with such flexible hours could be nearly impossible.


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