Sudden closure of Fairport daycare stuns parents

TOT-AL Care, located on Pittsford-Palmyra Road, made the closure announcement to parents and guardians Friday. (WHAM photo)

Fairport, N.Y. (WHAM) - A daycare in Fairport announced suddenly it would be closing at the end of the day Friday, leaving families stunned and scrambling for child care options.

TOT-AL Care, located on Pittsford-Palmyra Road, made the announcement to parents and guardians Friday.

Amanda Miller, director of TOT-AL Care in Fairport, confirmed the daycare's closure, but said it would be temporary. When asked if there would be an estimated date for it reopening, Miller hung up the phone.

Miller later clarified that the daycare is understaffed.

Some parents were emotional getting their kids for last time from the daycare, but others were left angry over the closure, which came without warning.

"Any short notice to any parent is frustrating, and I'm frustrated, I've got much better things to do with my child than figure out a daycare situations," said one disgruntled parent. "Last-minute notification is very difficult to deal with. I mean, we will get by."

The closure could have ripple effects around the area as parents scramble to find other options.

"It's going to be a great headache for a number of people," said Kathy Bassage, an in-home daycare provider in Fairport.

Kathy says unexpected daycare closures often leave parents desperate for quality daycare, which isn't always readily available.

"There's never going to be a good time for a daycare to close," said Bassage. "There's only so many vacation days and sick days to take to find a place for their child to be cared for."

Kathy says it's important to look closely at all child care options, and not make any rash decisions. Above all, she says parents need to go somewhere licensed by New York State.

"Go for an interview, have your child with you, see the interactions, make sure you're coming at a time when people are being cared for," said Bassage.

According to the New York State Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS), 44 kids ranging from infants to school-aged belonged to TOT-AL Daycare.

A review of the facility's record through the OCFS database found few violations for the daycare. Three minor violations had been corrected as of October 2. OCFS also verified the closure was voluntary, and due to being understaffed. According to the daycare's website, the facility first opened in 1983.

The registration for TOT-AL Care is in good standing and is not scheduled to expire until June 2019.

OCFS officials said they are in contact with the owner.

Parents seeking child care may contact the Child Care Council, Inc. for referrals by email here or by phone at (585) 654-4720.