KNIGHTDALE N.C. (WNCN) — After nearly four decades in Knightdale, the Cathy Lee Child Development Center suddenly shut down. A letter shared with CBS 17 by parents says it’s due to “outside factors” like COVID-19 and “changes in the economy.”
Parents of children in the day care say they were given only 48 hours notice.
Nicole Stoneback’s been taking her son there for the past three years.
“I actually really love Cathy Lee’s,” Stoneback said. “That’s why I’m so sad that it’s abruptly shutting down.”
On Wednesday, she said she was shocked to receive a letter saying the day care would permanently close in two days.
In addition to citing the pandemic and the economy, the letter went on to say that being a small business in that time was “a challenge that we haven’t been able to recuperate from.”
“Literally everyone at the day care now needs a place and I shutter to think how difficult it might be for someone that had two or more children,” Stoneback said.
Stoneback says it’s getting harder to find child care, with many waitlists at other facilities months long.
“So it’s not so easy to get childcare in just a few short days,” Stoneback said.
In June, the North Carolina Department of Revenue sent the daycare a notification of suspension for “failure to comply with the requirements of North Carolina General Statute 105-230(a).”
The statute requires a suspension “If a corporation or a limited liability company fails to file any report or return or to pay any tax or fee required.”
The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees day care regulation in the state, responded to CBS17’s questions with a statement “Cathy Lee Child Development Center is a licensed child care program, and NCDHHS is reaching out to the child care facility for more information. This is a developing situation and we don’t have additional information at this time.”
Stoneback says parents recently paid an annual $135 fee to the center and she does not know if there will be a refund.
“They collected that on September 1 for the 2022 to 2023 year and then they ended up shutting down just a few weeks after collecting that,” Stoneback said.
CBS 17 has reached out to the owner by email and phone but has not received a response.