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Richmond daycare abruptly kicked out leaving parents in the lurch

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some Richmond parents don't know what to do heading into the first day of school after their children's daycare abruptly closed last week, and opened with a new name and new management just days later.

"I don't know them. I'm not going to just leave my kids with somebody I don't know," Breanna King, whose 5-year-old son Trayquan Smith, had been going to the old daycare, As We Grow Academy.

As We Grow Academy, which serves low-income kids, opened in 2005, and in October of last year moved to a building owned by the Richmond Christian Center off Hull Street.

As We Grow leased the building from the RCC and operated as the Center's daycare.

But, As We Grow's owner, CherLisa Pettus, said RCC unfairly kicked her out last week and gave her just four hours to move her stuff.

"I don't know how they would expect us to pack up an entire business in less than 24 hours so no there was no time to collect anything," Pettus said.

Day Care closed

Pettus said a mini bus and van, as well as everything inside the daycare belongs to her, but RCC locked her out and opened up its own daycare within days of her departure.

"I don't have the key to that lock...I cannot open that gate," Pettus said.

Pettus showed CBS6 reporter Melissa Hipolit the letter she received from RCC that shows why they gave her the boot.

In the letter, RCC said Pettus repeatedly overdrew the daycare's account, failed to meets its financial obligations, and received systemic licensing violations from the Virginia Department of Social Services.

In fact, the VDSS website showed the daycare did not ensure staff to child ratios or conduct proper criminal checks on staff.

Still, Pettus said kicking her out with zero notice is not fair, and King said it's left her without a place for her kids.

Hipolit reached out to the RCC on Monday, but it was a holiday and she never heard back.

She did make contact with a woman at the daycare who said she was working to get the new daycare ready.

She said the daycare, the Richmond Christian Center Child Development Center, will be open for business and ready to go Tuesday and the children will not know any different.
Richmond Christian Center Child Development Center

Richmond Christian Center Child Development Center