Kinder Academy abruptly shuts down 2 Allegheny County locations, leaves families seeking childcare

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — The outside playground is empty, and the doors are locked at the Kinder Academy Pike location in McKees Rocks. It’s one of two locations that abruptly shut down. Parents at the Robinson location told Channel 11 that the owner gave little to no notice before closing, leaving dozens of families scrambling to find care.

“Run in the opposite direction,” said Sylvia Boules.

That’s the advice mom Sylvia Boules has for parents considering enrolling their kids in any Kinder Academy owned by Amy Whilsher. Sylvia’s 4-year-old son Luke, was terminated from the program effective April 5.

“He has never been a behavioral complaint, he’s teachers loved him. There were never any complaints about him or his behavior,” Boules explained.

Luke attended Kinder Academy for more than a year until Boules said she and her family were given a week to find alternative care.

“Me and Luke’s dad work full-time. I’m a physician, he is an engineer. Last week...I took most of the days off touring daycares,” she said.

Sylvia would later find out she wasn’t alone. Whilsher, who owns three Kinder Academy locations, had already closed the McKees Rocks location, and just days after terminating Boules’ son, the center he attended in Robinson also closed. A note on the door notified dozens of parents.

“It was definitely chaos. Several of the staff files were not completed. Things were missing,” said Marlena Main.

Former Executive Director Marlena Main was hired in March and said she has now resigned. She told Channel 11 News she has worked in education for more than 20 years and has never seen anything like this.

“My heart definitely does go out to them,” she said.

Channel 11 News reached out to the Department of Human Services, and they told us no citation’s been issued right now. We then called Amy Whilsher to get her side of the story. She did not answer, but her attorney responded and said:

“Regarding the concerns expressed by parents about the recent sudden closure at Kinder Academy in Robinson, I can offer the following comment: ‘Steps are being taken by Kinder Academy to reopen the daycare. We are aware of concerns that have been expressed and are gathering facts and information regarding the recent events and will respond accordingly,’” stated Attorney Ken Nolan at Phil DiLucente & Associates.

Channel 11 News will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates.

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