A Catoosa daycare that was being forced to shut down is now going to re-open in a different part of town, thanks in part to an outpouring of support from the community.
The daycare was going to close because the church that owned the building sold it.
The daycare was one of only two in the area and closing it would have left nearly 100 kids without a place to go.
It’s peaceful and quiet at the Disciple Discovery Center, as toddlers are soothed to sleep during nap time. But the past several weeks have been anything but peaceful for staff at the daycare.
“It was devastating," said Christy Lewis. "We didn't know where they were going.”
“We were all really, really shocked when the building was sold," said Chanda Costner. "We were heartbroken because we are a family here.”
Director Chanda Costner said she was told their church sold their daycare and they would be forced to close this month.
“At first I was like, we’re going to go on our way, everybody separate, but my wheels kept turning. Maybe I can do this," said Chanda.
Chanda decided to open her own daycare, after Good News Church down the road offered her some of their space.
“I'm like I’m gonna do it, I'm gonna open my own daycare," Chanda said.
Chanda has started a GoFundMe, is hosting fundraisers this week, is getting a grant from DHS, and has even taken out a loan to pay for everything. People all over Catoosa have helped.
"I have to put sinks, sprinklers, fire alarm systems.”
Christy Lewis teaches two-year-olds and said she and every other staff member are going with Chanda to the new building and are thankful to be able to keep loving on their kids.
“These little ones depend on us a lot a lot," said Lewis.
"It’s hit my heartstrings to know I'm doing something for this community that has a need for this childcare center," Chanda said.
The current center will be open until the end of October and the new center will be open in November.
The fundraisers and bake sale are happening Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m. in at the Disciple Discovery Center parking lot.