Only a few days after the start of the school year, Victoria mother Kayla Harrison was left with few options for child care.
Noah’s Ark Christian Daycare on Navarro, where her son received child care, closed in September after the state revoked its license for endangering children.
After the closure, she said she scrambled to find somewhere for him to go.
Tammy Terrell, assistant director of A+ Kidz Care, said her company will literally and figuratively fill the gap left by the closure of Noah’s Ark.
Company owner Deborah Schoener bought the building and will be the third A+ Kidz Care.
Terrell said this location will open on Jan. 27 and has space to provide care for 205 children. The company’s other two location’s, 3404 John Stockbauer Drive and 1105 John Stockbauer Drive, provide care for 150 and 180 children, respectively.
Terrell said she was excited for the new locations hours, which will be from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A+ Plus Kidz Care’s other two locations close at 6:30 p.m.
Noah’s Ark was open from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays.
When the shuttered daycare closed, Terrell said parents who worked later hours were left with one less option for child care.
“That’s why she bought the third one, to be able to accommodate those families,” Terrell said.
Kerry Matthews, owner of Childhood Unplugged, a child care service at 2710 E. Airline Road, said there’s high demand in Victoria for services offering longer hours because of the type of work that’s available in the area.
“The only industries that are here are shift work, or restaurant-type,” Matthews said. “We don’t have a lot to cater mostly to medical, law enforcement. Our goal is to reach these parents.”
Matthews said her child care facility is one of only two 24-hour facilities in the state, and, although her company accepts kids over the age of 5, she does not offer an after-school program.
Matthews said parents with school-age children are especially in need of more child care programs with services like those provided by A+ Kidz Care, which will pick up students from all local schools expect for Aloe Elementary.
Because of Victoria school district’s recent vote to stop its partnership with YMCA of the Golden Crescent in favor of a new one with Right at School, a for-profit company based in Evanston, Ill., Terrell said the need for after-school child care services may increase.
Unlike the after-school programs provided by the YMCA and A+ Kidz Care, Right at School has no plans to utilize any child care subsidy programs such as the Workforce Commission’s Child Care Services program, according to a billing specialist with the company.
With the opening of the new center, Terrell said she’s excited to help as many families as possible.
“There are families that were basically thrown to other day cares,” Terrell said. “We’re just here to help the community.”