Save Fortin Villa Learning Center

Save Fortin Villa Learning Center

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Fortin Villa Staff, Parents, and Friends started this petition to Ascensión

In this difficult time, we understand the closure of businesses who cannot sustain the loss of income, but we do not understand why ASCENSION, a national health care system, has chosen this time, in the midst of a pandemic, to permanently shut-down Fortin Villa Learning Center, a long-standing, much loved, and thriving business (with a waiting list) which serves over 120 children and their families.

To those who have been directly affected by this abrupt closure (parents, faculty, and staff), Ascension has not provided any explanation for their sudden action. Rather, parents received a 2-sentence text-message announcing the permanent closure of the facility.  In a like manner, the faculty and staff were told they had lost their jobs in an insensitive and brief conference call.

Since 1974, Fortin Villa has cared for children "ages six-weeks to 12-years-old in a unique, flexible environment that includes summer camp, before and after school childcare, a loving infant room, preschool program and more." Much more than a day-care center, the children were enrolled in an educational curriculum that included inter-generational programming,.

In their mission statement, Ascension states they are "advocates for a compassionate and just society through our actions and our words." If there were a time to show compassion, that would be NOW. However, it appears that in the scope of their business, "2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities," a little daycare center in Kankakee, Illinois is irrelevant.

Except, it is not irrelevant to the many families and employees who must now endure this additional hardship and heartbreak, during a time when we are all struggling through the hardships of a pandemic. As working parents are well aware, the journey to find a trust-worthy and loving daycare is an emotional and, often, long process, which is why the closure of Fortin Villa is not an inconvenience, but, rather, it is a "significant" loss to these families.

We are hopeful and prayerful that Ascension will reconsider their decision and walk-the-walk of their mission statement by providing one of the following:

[1]  Re-opening the Fortin Villa Learning Center when it is safe to do so. 

[2]  Offering to sell or donate the facility to another qualified entity, which would allow Fortin Villa to remain open and move forward with the current faculty, staff, and families enrolled.  

[3]  Re-opening the Fortin Villa Learning Center when it is "safe" to do, for a reasonable period of time, so parents may safely and calmly make arrangements for a new day-care.  With a limited number of facilities in the community, and the limited availability for enrollment at those facilites, we are asking for Fortin Villa to remain open for a period of no less than 6 months which is both fair and reasonable.

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