North Phoenix preschool could soon close, leaving parents wondering what to do
A Phoenix preschool is on the verge of a big problem: having nowhere to go.
Small People Preschool has been in its current location along Greenway Road in north Phoenix for years. The building was purchased by an investor, and that investor has asked the school to move out by Mar. 31.
While the preschool's owner, Jo Clute, is building a new facility about half a mile away, the facility won't be complete until the end of April, and that leaves about a hundred kids with nowhere to go.
"I need the community's help. I can't have these people on the street," said Clute. "If we get evicted, I've got 17 employees and their families. We've got 100 kids. We got 67 families."
Small People Preschool serves low-income families, many of whom rely on DES subsidies and scholarships to afford childcare, which means they can't take their kids just anywhere.
"It's kind of scary and frustrating at the same time, because this is their second home, and what am I going to do while I'm at work? The scholarship doesn't transfer," said Alejandra Herrera.
Herrera says as a single mom, she would have to take time off work if her kids can't come to preschool.
"Get FMLA and try to figure out what I can do, because daycare is so expensive that I could not afford to work and pay for the daycare," said Herrera.
Herrera's predicament, should Small People Preschool close down, isn't unique.
"I'm going to have to take some time off because I have nobody here to watch my kids," said Stephanie Zazueta.
For the parents that trust Small People Preschool with their children, it's because the place and the people that work there have become family.
"When they're not at school, they're here. This is their second home," said Zazueta.
An attorney for Small People Preschool said they have it in their lease that they are allowed to stay, but the lease was signed with the previous landlord.
We have reached out to the new landlord of the building for a comment, but they have yet to respond.