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When it's Time to Say Good-Bye - Guidelines for Closing Programs

by Nancy P. Alexander
July/August 1998
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/when-its-time-to-say-good-bye-guidelines-for-closing-programs/5012286/

Vicky, Susan, and others gathered on the playground for the last time on the last evening of the last day the center was open. Just at sunset, someone brought pizza and other snacks. Late into the night they sat on the porch swing and on the lower rungs of the climbing equipment sharing memories. They told stories of children's efforts to catch birds, of mud days and splash days, and of the many children who grew and learned there. They remembered the children well, some who were now in middle school and occasionally stopped by to visit. They remembered the parents and former employees - reliving the happy times and the challenging times.

This was their closure - their good-bye to a wonderful playground, an outdoor classroom where children could be children. They called this good-bye party a "playground wake." It was a wake brought about by a zoning change that they had delayed, but could not defeat. It was also a result of the difficulty of operating small centers.

They all had jobs. The parents and children had a place to go. But it was a merger with a larger facility - new people, new ways of doing things, and there was ...

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