Advertisement

After daycare fire, Tallahassee preschool welcomes families scrambling for childcare

Dozens of families woke up to a text from the Bright Star daycare owner: there wouldn’t be any daycare the following day.
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:33 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In a matter of minutes, flames largely destroyed the inside of a Tallahassee daycare last week.

Dozens of families woke up to a text from the Bright Star daycare owner: there wouldn’t be any daycare the following day.

As any parent knows, a childcare crisis can spiral into major problems. But another Tallahassee preschool is stepping up to help.

The class sizes at Oxford Learning Academy are about to grow.

Owner Ashley Scott hosted an emergency after hours open house Tuesday night, showing Bright Star families around her facility not far from the Tallahassee Mall.

“In the world of childcare, we are all connected,” Scott said.

Soon after the fire, Bright Star’s owner reached out to neighboring daycares. Could a daycare suddenly take on as many as 27 new kids?

“We said what can we do to support,” Scott said.

The fire came as a shock to parents like Corneisha Bruce, who loves Bright Star’s great teachers and reliable care.

“My heart fell into my stomach. I was shocked, no parent wants to get that text,” she said.

With childcare suddenly uncertain, she says the anxiety started to settle in.

“I was very nervous, I didn’t know what to do. I was concerned about childcare,” she said.

But then came the news that Oxford was opening its doors. Bruce said it’s a kind gesture.

“I’m very excited, I’m grateful. My only concern is my kids getting used to the new daycare,” she said.

Scott says she is working with Bright Star and FSU Social Work professor Kyra Adams to craft a “crisis plan” for the Bright Star kids. The goal is to keep those kids together and hire several Bright Star staff members so they see familiar faces.

Oxford said they’ll try to offer similar pricing as Bright Star so the families don’t take a financial hit.

The owner of Bright Star tells WCTV the rebuilding process could take some time, with several hurdles to clear before the cleanup can begin.

Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.