More than 100 parents are searching for a new school for their kids after a Montgomery County day care and childhood school suddenly closed its doors.
On Friday signs were posted outside the Goddard School in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania announcing the school was closed and the locks were changed.
“We received no notice whatsoever that this was going to happen,” said Patricia Bilardo, the mother of two kids who attended the school. “At first I thought it was a joke. Not only do they have our money but we also have nowhere to place our children on Monday and we all have to go to work.”
As an organization dedicated entirely to serving and nurturing children, we are saddened that one of our locations has closed. Unfortunately, we found out that the landlord closed the building last evening.
This closing does not change Goddard’s commitment to students’ safety, well-being and continued education.
The franchise relations team at Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School, and the franchisees are personally working with every enrolled family to find acceptable, convenient childcare options. Our focus is to make the transition for the parents, children and teachers as smooth as possible. Will we also ensure that full refunds are made to families who have paid May tuition.
We deeply regret the inconvenience this may be causing our parents and faculty.
The spokesman later released another statement going into more details regarding how they’ll help parents make the transition:
GSI and local Goddard franchisees are committed to working with parents to find new childcare options as swiftly as possible. We have reached out to parents, and also displaced faculty, that our school in East Norriton is opening their doors tomorrow, Sunday, April 26 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM to assist with enrollment and employment opportunities. The school will also provide free care for the week of April 27 for families in need.
Matthew Englebert, whose daughter attended the school, told NBC10 he and his wife are scrambling to find a place for her.
“It’s really hard,” Englebert said. “There are waiting lists.”
The franchise owner of the school was sued by Goddard Systems last year for safety hazards on the playground and failure to make royalty payments, according to court documents. The lawsuit was dismissed in August however.
The franchise owner also filed for bankruptcy in January. Court documents revealed a dispute between the owner and his landlord. However, a judge dismissed the bankruptcy case earlier this month.
“This guy had to know he wasn’t going to be up much longer,” Englebert said.
Parents told NBC10 teachers at the school were crying in the parking lot Friday night after learning about the closure.
“We’ll survive, we’ll get through it,” said David Crowe, the father of a student. “But there are a lot of good teachers that work here.”