Shattuck child care center gets eviction notice

FOREST HILLS—The state-subsidized Shattuck Child Care Center has been given its official eviction and de-funding notice, effective July 1, 2014.

The center, currently located in a soon-to-be decommissioned building on the Shattuck campus, has been subsidized by the state for the last 43 years. The state has paid for three employees and has not charged the center rent during that time. Both forms of support will be withdrawn starting August 2014.

“Our plan is to meet with the governor, but it doesn’t seem like he’s receptive to meeting with us,” Clare Reilly, a member of the Shattuck Child Care Center Board, told the Gazette.

If the center were to stay open beyond August 2014, it would have to find a new space and raise enough cash to support its three staff positions, a feat impossible to achieve without raising its tuition and a major restructuring, Reilly said.

“A year is just not enough time. We’d have to raise a lot of money to be a viable nonprofit,” she said. “If we have to be out by June 30, we’ll just be out of business. We can’t turn on a dime and change our entire model. We wouldn’t be affordable to our families.”

Alec Loftus, communication director for the state Department of Health and Human Services, declined to comment on possible alternative state sites for the center, an idea previously discussed with Reilly.

Earlier this year, Gov. Deval Patrick called for universal access to high-quality early education for children across the state, from birth through age 5. Loftus also declined to comment on how the center’s de-funding and eviction related to this point.

A Gazette phone call to state Rep. Liz Malia was not immediately returned. Malia has been an advocate for the child care center in the state legislature.

“We should be replicating this model, not terminating it. There’s plenty of daycare options in JP, but they’re expensive,” Reilly said.

In August 2012, the state informed the child care center of the building’s mothballing. The state promised the child care center that they would have a process to identify another space on campus and that the center would have a year to move from the time a new space was identified, Reilly previously told the Gazette.

“We never heard from them again,” she previously said.

It is unclear when and why the state decided to close the building.

The Personnel Building, part of Shattuck’s campus just inside Franklin Park at 170 Morton St. and the child care center’s home, will be emptied and mothballed due to a host of structural deficiencies discovered during an “extensive” state review of the grounds conducted in October.

The child care center was founded in 1969 and was a recruitment tool for state employees to come work at Shattuck. It currently cares for 39 children aged 15 months to 6 years old.

Correction: Due to a reporting error, this article previously stated that the center was founded in 1989. It was first founded in 1969 as the National Council of Jewish Women day care center and renamed in 1989. It has been supported by DPH since 1969.


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