Some Coos County families are temporarily out of childcare.
Bay Area Hospital’s Bright Beginnings Learning Center has suspended classes after a large share of its staff resigned earlier this month, according to a hospital executive.
Eight or nine teachers at the center resigned at the same time as the center’s director, according to Clay England, chief human resources officer, who oversees the center’s management.
“In the state of Oregon, you have to have a licensed director to operate a daycare,” England said. “That really is what precipitated closing the facility, or pausing the facility, because we’re committed to trying to get things back in order.”
As of midweek last week, the center, set up by the hospital to provide daycare for employees and community members, was about 40% staffed, England estimated.
But since an interim or permanent licensed director hadn’t yet been hired, the center hasn’t been able to offer any care for the approximately 100 students it cares for at a time.
England declined to share why the director left the center, but said the other staff members left with her because of their professional relationship.
“I would just say that it was mutually agreeable at that point,” England said. “In the end as we resurface, it will be a good thing I think for us, and for her too.”
Haley Gleason had a child enrolled at the center for after-school care part of each week. She said the sudden departure was puzzling.
“I find that my child was really well cared for and loved at that facility,” Gleason said. “This just feels so drastic, and my heart really goes out to the staff.”
Gleason said she hadn’t heard about the closure until she called the center to see if she could still bring her daughter in.
“My experience with them was quite wonderful,” she said of the program while it had been open.
England said around two dozen hospital employees had children enrolled at the center, and that the closure has made it a challenge for some of them to schedule their work.
“We have our own employees that, of course, are impacted that this may have disrupted their ability to come to work. So we understand the significance of that, and we are trying ... to make sure we get somebody that’s qualified and is somebody that we need will be a good fit for us and be able to restart the program,” he said.
According to England, the hospital is working to hire a director and teachers to rebuild the 14-person staff in the next month.