COVID-19 pandemic forces Fayetteville Tech's childcare center to close permanently

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The COVID-19 crisis dealt a final blow to the Early Childhood Education Center on the Fayetteville Technical Community College campus.

Officials told ABC11 the doors closed on March 20th, but will now be closed permanently. The college operated at a loss and used discretionary funds to help keep it open, according to officials. There was no going back after COVID-19 hit.

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"I will miss the times of sitting in the rocking chair, reading to them and seeing them in the mornings. Just being able to hold them and let them know mommy and daddy will be back," said Tonia Alderman, who teaches at the center.

Alderman has pictures of handwritten notes, cards and flowers which serve as memories collected over the last 14 years. This sudden closure is a big disappointment for many parents including Kathleen Henry who has three children attending the center.

"These are your kids, right? It's like a part of your heart walking outside of your body. I felt very comfortable with FTCC," said Henry.

College officials said this closure impacts nearly 140 children and 30 staffers. The staffers will be paid through June 30th.

"I've really had to think of what my next move will be. I planned to stay there until I finish school," said Alderman.

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