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Families Must Find Affordable Preschool With Only 6 Weeks Notice

DENVER (CBS4)– Families paying tuition at a popular early learning childcare center must find a new place for their children, with just six weeks notice.

The school, Clayton Early Learning, is consolidating and closing one of its locations, which means there isn’t room for everyone. The students will no longer be attending the school after Aug. 18.

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Clayton Early Learning (credit: CBS)

The families paying full tuition are the ones who must find other options. The school says they can’t afford to keep them. Although they need affordable preschool, they make too much to qualify for help.

On Thursday, school officials met with those parents, which quickly turned into an emotion-filled meeting.

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(credit: CBS)

“You put my kids and these families in a s*** situation on a bad business deal and now I have six weeks to find someplace safe,” said one parent.

“I can’t take this anymore,” said Katie Walsh.

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Clayton Early Learning (credit: CBS)

“We probably work 50-60 hours a week and it’s difficult to figure out how this is going to work,” said another parent.

Clayton Center CEO Charlotte Brantley says the reason they cannot accommodate everyone currently enrolled is because the Far Northeast School in Montbello must close due to financial reasons. The school is still obligated to serve children who qualify for Headstart grants from the government.

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Clayton Early Learning CEO Charlotte Brantley (credit: CBS)

“So these families aren’t eligible for funds and that’s why they have to go. They’re not even eligible for Denver Public Schools funding,” said Brantley.

She told CBS4 they opened the school in Montbello with the knowledge they didn’t have the money to cover the funding forever and that time has come.

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Clayton Early Learning (credit: CBS)

“We thought there was enough momentum going at that time within the state Legislature and federal government for things to change more rapidly than they did… they haven’t,” said Brantley.

Many parents in the Denver metro area have been on the waiting list for affordable preschool options for more than a year and say the closing of the school puts them in a bind.

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