Niceville, Fla. (WEAR-TV) — It was an emotional and chaotic day at a Niceville daycare.
Employees learned the Bluewater Discovery Learning Academy was shutting down after a sign was placed on the door. The businesses’ closure was surprised to many on Thanksgiving eve.
More than 30 employees lost their job and parents of more than 150 kids must now find a new daycare.
“To me, I feel like it’s heartless to let all these families go. Hundred-Fifty kids and 30 staff, aw man” Jasmine Dobie said tearfully.
The news came as a double dose of bad news for Megan McConnell right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Megan says she is devastated. She said she is not only a teacher, but her child goes to the daycare.
“I mean this is where my kids go to school,” she said.
“My kids go here. This is my job. This is the best job I had. It works with my schedule, it works with my kids” Megan added.
BLUEWATER DISCOVERY LEARNING ACADEMY STATEMENT
It’s with a heavy heart the ownership/manager of the Bluewater Discovery Learning Academy has decided to cease operations on November 27th. the ceasing of operations is due to financial viability issues that were only recently identified. We sincerely apologize for the suddenness of this notice and the difficulty this makes for both families and staff.
BUSINESS OWNER RESPONSE
Channel 3 News contacted the owner’s lawyer. The lawyer told Channel 3 News Ashlei Bruewer inherited the business eight years ago when her mother was killed in a plane crash.
He says on her 25th birthday last month, Bruewer received full access to the records and learned the business was broke.
Melissa Mead has worked for the facility for 4-years. She tells us she understands it’s business but still feels employees are owed more of an explanation.
“The employees definitely deserve to know the whole story. to find out why. but we’ve kind of been kept in the dark” Mead, a teacher, said.
Mead says she’ll miss the camaraderie of the staff, but not seeing the children again will really hurt.
“Hugging them and knowing that’s going to be the last time they are going to be able to hug them,” she added.
We also contacted the owner of the property. She told us she’s working to find somebody interested in taking over and reopening the business.
Staff members are working to find jobs and help place children.