Norwich Children's Centre to close after operating at a deficit since 2013

By John Tapley, Ingersoll Times

The Norwich Children's Centre is closing September 8.

Operating out of the Norwich Public Library since May 2013, the child care service for preschool aged children and toddlers is run by Community Living Tillsonburg.

“We haven't been able to operate without a deficit,” said Cathy Hudson, CEO of Community Living Tillsonburg about the Norwich Children's Centre. “Although I know it's a very valued asset to the community, we haven't been able to operate at full capacity.”

The centre is licenced for 16 preschool children and 10 toddlers.

Hudson said the number of children at the centre typically increases during the summer, but it has never operated at full capacity the rest of the year.

“We have been operating at a deficit since opening and are no longer able to continue,” she said.

Hudson said 27 families will be affected by the closure.

The centre does receive some funding through Oxford County and revenue from parent fees go toward operating and staffing costs.

Hudson said five people are employed at the centre and management is working through a process to determine whether the the centre's closure will result in job losses.

“Hopefully not, but it's a process,” said Hudson.

She said it is hoped that parents have been given enough notice of the closure to find alternative care for their children. Those affected are also being given priority placement at the Tillsonburg Children's Centre, which is also operated by Tillsonburg Community Living.

“This is a very hard decision and we really feel terrible about it, but we aren't able to continue running at a deficit,” Hudson said. “We feel horrible for the families and staff.”

She praised staff at the centre for doing “a great job.”

“They've done everything they can to make it successful.”