Evansdale daycare director purchases Cradles 2 Crayons - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Evansdale daycare director purchases Cradles 2 Crayons

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Last week a Cedar Falls daycare center closed without warning, leaving dozens of parents scrambling to find a caretaker for their children. Now, the director of another daycare is stepping up to help, by purchasing the former Cradles 2 Crayons Daycare, and re-opening as Learn & Play Preschool and Daycare.

It's safe to say, spending a week cleaning and re-organizing a new business is not what Mary Sires pictured herself doing a couple weeks ago. She was already busy enough running her daycare in Evansdale, not to mention her job as a full-time mother. But then, Sires caught this on a KWWL newscast earlier this month.

"You want what's best for your children. And this isn't what's best. But hopefully it's a blessing in disguise, and we'll move on," parent Lynette White told KWWL on August 8th.

"Just after hearing everyone, seeing the woman on the news, she was almost in tears," Sires recalled. "I just felt, this is something I can do right now."

Sires went straight to the landlord, made an offer, and set out to re-open the daycare in a matter of days.

"I feel that there's probably some people out there that have a huge need right now. I know there are some families that haven't found anything," she noted.

After 14 years operating her own center, Sires has high expectations. Initially, the state of the daycare didn't live up to them.

"When I came in I could tell what needed to be done right away, and it was scary," she said.

For now, they're only opening a few rooms, and accepting about 30 kids -- half of what the daycare will eventually hold.

"Until we can get the rooms up to my standards they won't be opened," explained Sires.

Even before it opens, the new venture is clearly a family affair. and that's exactly how Sires wants it.

"You should feel like you're children's center is family. You should feel like they're your family," she added.

Sires is working to bring back many of the former teachers, hoping it will provide some stability for the kids who were left without a place to go last week.

She is planning to open up on Monday, August 22. Learn & Play Preschool and Daycare will hold an open house at the Cedar Falls location Saturday, August 20th. You can enroll your children in the program during the open house.

Sires' Evansdale location participates in the voluntary preschool program with Waterloo, and is working on its fourth star in the Iowa Quality Rating System. Sires has the same high expectations for her new center.

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