Marysville daycare fights closure as county agency pursues legal decision

MARYSVILLE, OH (WCMH) — A dispute over the World of Wonders daycare center in Marysville appears headed for court. The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) says it desperately needs more classroom space and wants the private, non-profit daycare center to move out of a building it shares with the agency.

The daycare uses the building, rent-free, under the terms of a collaborative agreement with UCBDD dating back to 1995. UCBDD superintendent Kara Brown says the agency has the authority to take over the space and provided the daycare more than a year’s notice.

“We don’t feel like we can go back to our taxpayers and say ‘can you give us more tax levy dollars to build a space’ when we have a non-profit, private business sharing a space that’s owned by the county and that was built using money intended for people with disabilities,” Brown said.

After several months of unsuccessful negotiations, UCBDD now says it will pursue a legal decision from the courts to clarify the intent of the collaborative agreement between the two sides.

With 115 children, the World of Wonders Child Care and Learning Center is the largest daycare provider in the county.

Anita Wallace has been taking her son Declan to World of Wonders for about a year and a half. Word that the center may be forced out is troubling.

“Obviously it puts me out of childcare and as a working mother that’s a huge deal,” Wallace said.

Lauren Fontaine, the executive director of the daycare says the organization needs more time and a fair equity buyout from UCBDD in order to establish an alternative site.

“We’re hoping that the county commissioners who have not stepped in to help moderate this agreement will step in to find a solution that works for everybody,” Fontaine said.

Brown says UCBDD offered the daycare a $466,000 buyout in December but the daycare rejected the offer.

Parents are crossing their fingers that something can get worked out.

“There’s not an abundance of places in Marysville that are fully qualified and at the level of affordability that WOW is,” Wallace said.

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