Cheshire Country Day School Shuts Down Without Notice - NBC Connecticut

Cheshire Country Day School Shuts Down Without Notice

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, Dec. 5, 2016)

    A daycare in Southington closed down this week without warning, leaving parents scrambling to find somewhere for their children to go.

    A spokeswoman for the Office of Early Childhood said daycare facilities are required by law to give 30 days notice to their office as well as to parents.

    OEC officials said they were never notified and parents told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters they were informed on Friday that no childcare will be available this week.

    A spokeswoman at OEC also confirms their office is investigating two separate complaints received Thursday and Friday of last week in connection to the case.

    “There was every expectation that we would have a place to take our kids today," Effrain Torres, a father of two, told NBC Connecticut. "I had to take the day off today because the owner at Cheshire Country Day School decided on Friday, I believe, that they’re not going to open this week. The fact he is closing doors now puts people in a very serious predicament.”

    Torres said the Cheshire Country Day School administrative team sent a letter by email to parents mid-Friday and it cites maintenance and student registration as the reasons the daycare was shutting down this week.

    It also let parents know their children can’t return next week unless they complete new registration by Wednesday.

    Torres told NBC Connecticut, the owner, Asher Sussman "tried to pin it on people who he had running the daycare center for him and the staff that worked there and, you know, the parents just don’t believe that."

    Sussman, who is based out of Brooklyn, New York, said he would discuss the issue with parents but would not answer any additional questions from the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

    In a follow-up email to parents on Sunday, Sussman stated there was no other option but to close for a week and make reparations based on issues he only learned about.

    It also cites issues, including mice infestation throughout the school, droppings found in cabinets, closets, food storage areas.

    Sussman pointed the blame at former daycare directors and past partners he said he recently fired.

    A previous partner denies the accusations.

    Torres wasn’t sure about the mice issue.

    “Nothing to verify the fact of mice droppings. We believe if staff had been aware of any mice droppings, wouldn’t want to work in those conditions and wouldn’t allow our kids to be put at risk,” Torres said.

    Sussman’s email also states that missing and incomplete files for the children and payroll hours show evidence of fraud as recently as last week.

    But employees said there is more to the story.

    Jackie Robinson, who worked at Cheshire Country Day School as of Friday, said she was asked to sign a resignation letter several times and refused.

    The single mom sent her son to CCDS too.

    “He stopped our pay, so we were told that on Friday that we werenot going to get paid and today is Monday and it was our payday, and we weren’t paid, so a lot of us went down to the labor board," Robinson said. "It is right near Christmas. I won’t be able to give my son as good a Christmas as I wanted."

    Chessie Parker, who Sussman fired, said teacher-to-student ratios were problematic in the past.

    “One to eight kids. It wasn’t just pre-school, wasn’t infants. It was all classrooms were affected by thais" Parker said.

    In March and April the state cited several violations at Cheshire Country Day School.

    Torres said his children won’t be going back and he's working on childcare through the holidays.

    “It almost meant that we weren’t going to go home for Christmas because we have to use vacation time up that we allotted for our trip to Ohio,” Torres added.

    The owner of the building where CCDS is housed said Asher Sussman owes her $3,700 month rent for October and November.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters requested inspection reports from the state and are waiting to hear back.