HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — “Pick up your child and don’t come back.”
That’s what the parent of a child at Ardent Preschool and Daycare said he, and several other parents, were told last Thursday after complaining about fees and hours of operation.
Ardent informed the parents that they were cutting hours, but not changing the fee that is being charged for each child. The parents say they were completely blindsided by being forced out.
In a letter emailed to parents on Thursday, Ardent’s chief executive officer informed the parents that they are cutting the hours of operation. Parents still wanted to know – what about the fee?
When they got no answer, they voiced their opinion on Facebook, then were told they and their children were no longer welcome.
The parents say they were forced out because they were reacting to the lack of communication to the sudden change in hours. The letter cited “giving the team a chance to breathe,” and the “well-being of our teachers.”
“You’re now telling me that you’re going to charge me the same price for giving me 75% service every month?” the parent, who did not want to be identified, told News 19.
They said that they were never offered an opportunity to ask for clarification, so they created a Facebook page to air out their differences with Ardent. Then, they received a call and were asked to pick up their child from the daycare and were instructed not to return.
“They have directly gone against what is in their parent handbook,” the parent said. “They have not followed their dismissal policy. They didn’t even make us sign a document or anything when we left.”
News 19 learned that Ardent has informed 12 families not to return. That includes parents from both the Huntsville and Jones Valley locations. Parents are struggling to find a daycare in the current economy, where the waiting list is practically nonexistent.
“We had no idea that this was going on,” the parent continued. “What parent would not call their school for wanting to get clarification on feeling like you’re getting taken to the cleaners essentially on tuition?”
The parent handbook at Ardent states “they reserve the right to dismiss a family if an agreeable resolution on a conflict cannot be met.” The families say that they were never offered an agreeable resolution or an opportunity to discuss the dismissal.
News 19 reached out to Ardent Preschool and Daycare for comment and has not heard back.