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Platte County child care center struggles as coronavirus spreads

Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 23:19:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lee's Kinder Academy is trying to stay open.

The Platte County child care center is afraid it will have to close its doors as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the metro.

"I thought, 'Oh, this is just going to be the yearly flu we are going to get. This is not going to be anything major,'" said Shari Lee, who opened Lee's Kinder Academy six years ago, "but by the end of last week I could see a total different turn around."

Last Friday, four students left because their parents are now working from home. Lee said she's afraid other students might also leave, forcing her to close her doors.

"I am concerned if we keep losing children we are obviously not going to make rent, we're not going to be able to pay the chef," she said. "We're not going to pay our employees. It is a really hard thing to balance."

There are several of her students whose parents cannot work from home, and she said she's also afraid of what would happen to them.

On Monday, President Donald Trump announced new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking Americans to limit social gatherings to 10 people or less. The Platte County Health Department told 41 Action News it is following the CDC's recommendations and will also ask residents to limit gathering to less than 10 people.

The health department said the recommendations do not apply to schools, businesses or child care centers.

"Sit tight, pray really hard. And look for that cure," Lee said. "My hope for this is we can withstand the next few months to figure it out."