Grand Care Children's Center closing

By Kelly McCarthy

Grand Care Children's Center closing

June 5, 2013 Updated Jun 6, 2013 at 9:43 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Grand Care Children's Center in Johnson City is closing its doors for good at the end of August, leaving the parents of nearly 50 children searching for other options.

Grand Care is operated by United Methodist Homes and the organization has recently decided to stop providing child care.

United Methodist Homes is a non-profit organization that focuses on senior home living.

They made the decision in May and the president of the organization says the decision is final.

He says United Methodist Homes can't continue to fund child care services and they're dealing with an annual shortage of $200,000.

They're not raising the tuition to make up some of that cost, saying it would be a nearly 50 percent increase in tuition and too expensive for most parents to afford.

The president says the financial burden is a big reason for the cut, but also he wants the organization to focus more on senior living services.

"I think our decision was a difficult one and we focused on the core mission of the United Methodist Homes," said president and CEO Brian Picchini. "There's significant change coming to the health care field and we feel that the (United Methodist) Homes needs to focus both operationally and financially with all of our resources on that change."

Nearly two dozen parents met Wednesday night at CFJ Park to discuss options going forward, which they say are few. One thing parents said is they will fight to keep the day care from closing in August.

Parents said they will contact local politicians and try to raise additional funding to keep the school open, but that's a tall order.

"This is an issue that I think children need to, we need to speak for them and have the voice," said Carol Peeling of Owego. "They don't have their own and quality child care is extremely important"

Grand Care Children's Center has been open for 27 years.

Picchini says the center's 14 staff member's have the chance to apply to open positions at United Methodist Homes.

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