After much thoughtful consideration, discussion, and prayer the Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio (MHCO) Board of Directors has announced plans to close the Hilty Preschool and Child Care Center in Pandora, Ohio at the end of January. Following the closure of the Hilty Home Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing services at the end of 2022, the Center remained in the nearly empty building with continued operations and service to families throughout 2023.
The Center has provided excellent care consistent with its mission for 35 years. Intergenerational programming with the Hilty Home residents offered hundreds of youngsters and elders the opportunity to develop nurturing and enriching relationships. With the closure of the Hilty Home, a significant piece of this mission was lost.
Over the past year, MHCO subsidized the continuing daycare operation while exploring opportunities for a new location and ownership. Unfortunately, these efforts were not successful. Elizabeth Kelly, MHCO Board Chair said: “Our goal was that the Center continue to provide its stimulating and caring program. We simply were not able to find a suitable location or buyer and the cost of subsidizing this program is unsustainable.”
MHCO shared news of the closure with staff and families on January 2. Families were provided with contact information for local childcare programs. Staff will remain employed until the end of January or they are released as attendance declines. MHCO Human Resources is available to work with staff during this transition.
Kelly concluded: “We appreciate the impact this closing has on the special bonds between staff, children, and parents. MHCO will support everyone as much as possible through this difficult transition. Our gratitude and appreciation go to the staff for their years of service and dedication to so many children and elders.”