Odessa daycare to temporarily close after inherited debt leaves no funds for childcare

ODESSA, Mo. — A nonprofit daycare in Lafayette County sent a letter to their parents on Sept. 18 saying the facility will soon temporarily shut down. A receptionist with the daycare confirmed the letter and temporary closure.

Managers at Odessa Community Daycare Center told FOX4 that they inherited $147,000 in unpaid client bills when they first took over.

“We want to assure you that all efforts were made to keep the daycare open, but unfortunately there are no funds to pay our employees, buy food for the children, or to provide a quality facility,” the letter states.

The daycare will close in two days at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, with a tentative re-open date on Jan. 6, 2020.

Stepping into $147,000 of debt

The center’s managers said they’re not planning to pursue legal action to recover the money, but the delinquent payments stretch back years.

Odessa Community Daycare Center’s newly appointed director, Lacey Frazier, took her job on Aug. 26. Her mother, Ann Sayers, became the center’s board president in May.

“I don’t know who exactly was responsible to collect fees from the parents, but some of our parents, former parents, didn’t quite leave with a clean slate. Not all their fees were paid,” Sayers said.

Sayers said she’s already dipped into her own 401(k) retirement account once to pay her center’s staff, but couldn’t afford to do that again.

On top of paying off their debt, the managers said they needed to repaint parts of the facility, fix the heating and cooling unit, build a wheelchair ramp and more.

“We need some help,” Sayers said.