Parents left in a bind after Northland school, day care says its closing with 2-weeks notice

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Finding a place you trust to take care of your kids isn't easy. So imagine having the perfect spot and then learning it's closing in just two weeks.

That's the nightmare more than a hundred Northland families are dealing with right now.

Parkway Montessori's only been in its current building near Tiffany Springs for about a year and had big visions for expanding their programs. But it turns out, the school got in over its head and can no longer pay the bills.

Looking at Parkway Montessori's Facebook page, you see tons of pictures of happy kids playing and painting.

"It's a wonderful facility. It's a wonderful staff," parent Kimberly Wilkie said.

But their website greets you with a letter to families, saying as of the end of this month, the school is shutting down.

"We kind of went into full-on panic crisis mode," Wilkie said.

Wilkie's 2-year-old son Ethan has been attending Parkway Montessori since October. She had to take a day off work this week to tour day care centers and was nervous long waiting lists might make it impossible to find an immediate opening.

"Where is my child going to go? I have a job. My husband has a job," she said.

Thankfully, they found a spot. But she's worried for the 130 other families who have kids attending Parkway, and the roughly 50 staff members now without a job.

"There aren't words for how devastated I am for the staff and for the parents that can't find somewhere for their child," Wilkie said.

School leaders declined an interview, but its board president, Rick Hann, told FOX4 closing the school was "the last thing they wanted to do."

Hann said tuition was already at a premium compared to similar programs in the area, and enrollment didn't climb enough after moving into a new building to cover costs.

The school was simply out of cash.

Parents are frustrated they didn't know how dire things had gotten and wish the school would've expressed that sooner -- instead of getting a two-week notice the school's closing.

"I think people would more likely respond positively to that sort of message or call to action of 'Hey, we've got to have this happen. We need extra funds. Need to get people in here to go to school here. Talk about how great it is.' It's in kind of a hidden spot," Wilkie said.

The school's board of directors considered several options to stay open, including seeking a new operator for the school. In an effort to save money, it already shut down its elementary school division earlier this year.

But it just wasn't enough.

So now, Parkway's working to help families find new childcare and employees find new jobs.

The school also said it's committed to doing what's right. Some families had donated money to help with school maintenance, and the school is willing to refund those donations. Parkways said it's also willing to refund deposits and prepaid tuition.