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      Walter Hammond Daycare temporary close

      On Friday, May 14th a longtime Tri-State daycare closed its doors, not just for the weekend, but possibly for good.

      We've told you about financial problems at Walter Hammond Daycare in Quincy as recently as December.

      At that time, the Walter Hammond board president told us she was confident the daycare would stay open.

      This is what KHQA's Jarod Wells heard from her Friday.

      Walter Hammond Daycare board president Jeanetta Green said, "We're looking at a temporary close. The failure to receive anticipated revenues has caused us to reach this decision."

      Walter Hammond Daycare has been putting off that decision for several months. In December, we reported the state of Illinois was six months behind on its payments to the daycare. At that point, the daycare's board thought the facility could survive only another month. Five months later, that's become reality.

      Board President Jeanetta Green told me several factors played into this funding problem, but she didn't want to point fingers and speculate.

      Green said, "I will say this. We're one of those agencies, that because of the problems the state is having, we have been dramatically affected by that."

      We spoke with state Senator John Sullivan (D- 47th Dist) Friday afternoon. He knows this problem all too well.

      Sullivan said, "There's a backlog of unpaid bills to vendors all over the state, including Walter Hammond."

      But he says with a little forewarning, this situation may have been able to be averted.

      Sullivan said, "The first we knew that they had made the decision to close the doors was earlier this morning (5/14). Once we found that out, we've been in contact with the comptroller's office doing whatever we can to try and expedite some payments to them to help them out. Had they given us a heads up, we certainly would have worked with them and tried to help them out like we have in the past."

      Sullivan told KHQA he doesn't see this financial crisis getting better any time soon. In the meantime, Jeanetta Green says there are other daycares in the area, but few that offer services based on an income scale as Walter Hammond does.

      Green said, "We're looking at, in the future, opening up. It's a time when it's going to be difficult for everyone, but it's also time for the community that we serve to take a look at, what can we do in the future to help this needed service stay open."

      Again, this is being called a temporary closing. Green remains positive and believes Walter Hammond will be able to open these doors again.

      Walter Hammond served 74 students, including its pre-K program, and employed about eight people.