Many of the staff and parents were upset and concerned, given that Happy Time never required lifestyle contracts and because they were losing their jobs with very little notice. The church's pastor and leadership was largely unresponsive to attempts by both the media and parents for an explanation. For example:
Kyra Moore, whose daughter, August, attends Happy Time, is a member of Point of Grace Church. She said she contacted Pastor Jeff Mullen for an explanation about the changes, but what she was told didn’t sit well with her. “He basically said, ‘Happy Time is closed,’” Moore told Thursday's gathering. “’It’s a business and that’s that.’”The former Happy Time staff gathered to discuss options and came up with a new daycare, New Beginnings Childcare and Preschool. Many of the old students left Point of Grace Children's Academy for this new-yet-familiar daycare. New Beginnings started out at the former Waukee Elementary School building. Now I read this weekend that New Beginnings, thriving despite lack of Christian Lifestyle Contract, will be building a new location soon.
What an awful position to be put in. It's hard enough finding employment these days. It's pretty difficult to find good daycare too -- especially with short notice. Back when D'Angelo was in kindergarten, his daycare closed in the middle of the school year. We had a month to plan, but it was extremely difficult to find a new daycare option in January relatively close to his school. We eventually found something by the closing deadline, but barely. Other parents weren't so lucky.
Incidentally, I found this interesting. Last month, New Beginnings Childcare and Preschool beat out Point of Grace Children's Academy 79-28 as "Best Child Care Center" in Waukee.