New Harvest Child Care Center closing its doors, parents scrambling to find day care for their children

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When the New Harvest Church announced it was phasing out its child care program, parents thought they had plenty of time to find a new place.

"It was very much a surprise, we were originally told that the end date would be June and then they sprung it on us last night it's actually December 29th. So there was an employee meeting before our meeting and there was just a lot of tears," said Stacy McManus.

GENE: "What did they tell you as a reason?"

MCMANUS: "They said it was financial reasons but they didn't go into detail."

Church officials would not comment on the closure. In a written letter to parents they said the center was closing as the result of a merger with another church, and was due to "circumstances beyond our control." Parents like Stacy McManus says it comes at a tough time.

"There's 150 kids that are still going to New Harvest Child Care Center and now, they don't, it's hard to find good quality day care and they've been so amazing, we've been so happy there and now we are all having to find new places to send our children."

Finding childcare in Fresno County is always difficult. According to the Children's Services Network the number of day care providers is down 30 percent over the past decade, despite a population boom. Andrea Cervantes helps families find care.

"Right now we have a lot of need for infant care, we have a lot of parents looking for infant care and that's where we struggle the most, a lot of our centers and homes a lot of the infant slots are already taken," said Cervantes.

New Harvest was one of the few places offering infant care. And parents with children of all ages are struggling to find new caregivers.
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