Pandarama Daycare may close Thursday after Kansas DCF terminates contract

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A longstanding daycare facility may close its doors Thursday after the Kansas Department of Children and Families terminated its contract with Pandarama Daycare on July 22, 2014.

“One child came and asked me and said, you guys aren’t going to be here any longer, and he was sad when he said that and that makes me sad there,”  Pandarama owner Morris Sipple said.

The daycare will be unable to serve children from low income families, which represents the majority of their business.

"Everybody knows there has to be reason behind it. They don't just stop something for 37 years without a reason,” Sipple said.

41 Action News has been digging for answers since we first reported on the possible closing of the daycare .

The Department of Children and Families won’t reveal what specifically led to their decision to terminate the contract.

In an e-mail from a Department of Children and Families spokesperson, they wrote,

“Our actions to terminate a contract are based on information and/or recommendations from KDHE.”

But, in an e-mail from a spokesperson from the Kansas Department of Health, they wrote, “That is incorrect.”

A spokesperson for DCF said that the Kansas Department of Health has multiple “complaint investigation” listed for Pandarama. But the Health Department refused to give detailed information about those complaints because they say they are under investigation.

It is not clear if specific information from the complaint surveys listed on the Health Department’s website led to DCF’s decision to terminate the contract with Pandarama.

Attorneys for the owners have been pushing the state for a formal hearing and to reconsider the termination of the contract. Court documents show that request was denied.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families sent us a statement saying in part,

“We hold our providers to high standards so Kansas children are cared for in a safe environment when their parents cannot be by their side.” 

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