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Long-time Carlsbad daycare fated to close amid COVID-19 saved by donor

CARC daycare was set to close permanently after 25 years due to financial issues until an anonymous donor stepped forward saving one of Carlsbad’s few childcare facilities. 

Mark Schinnerer, chief executive officer of CARC Inc., said the decision to close the daycare was made four weeks ago and would have taken effect on Oct. 1. The closure would have affected 38 children and infants whose families would have had to find new childcare options. 

“There was a donor that stepped up the next day and said, ‘hey we don’t want the community to be hurt by another closure,’” Schinnerer said. “So, we have decided to continue and serve the children and serve the community and make sure that those kids have a good daycare to go to.” 

More:City of Carlsbad: CARC Inc. hiring

Schinnerer said the reason the daycare was struggling was because COVID-19 regulations set by the New Mexico Department of Health limited the number of children that could be enrolled. He said the facility could normally care for 54 children. 

Records show that childcare services are limited in Carlsbad. The city only has nine registered daycare centers while nearby cities like Roswell have over 40 according to the New Mexico Early Childhood Services Center web portal.  

CARC Inc. in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

COVID-19 impacted childcare services all over the country according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as about two-thirds of small daycare centers with less than 75 children are struggling to break even. 

More:New Mexico Child Care Assistance Program doubles eligibility

“We are thrilled they are able to stay open,” said local parent Brandy Lee. “There is not another daycare in town that I would trust with my children. This would have been a devastating loss for our community. Our town has so few childcare options, and even fewer trustworthy options.”