Unexpected closure of daycare facility both ‘a blessing and a curse’

A family in Grand Forks speaks out against their former employer and daycare facility
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - On Monday, August 14th, Emmy’s Place in Grand Forks abruptly closed it’s doors.

Only a week prior, the facility announced to parents that they would discontinue services and their last day of daycare would be Friday, August 18th, but they didn’t inform staff.

That’s just the beginning to this workplace drama.

When now former employee of Emmy’s Place, Jennifer Wippler arrived to the facility to clear out her belongings, she was met with an unexpected obstacle. A towel had been placed around the outer door to prevent her from entering, even though she still has a working key.

Lead Preschool Teacher, Jennifer Wippler says to her former employers, “You treated us wrong, you hurt all of our staff, you hurt parents, you even hurt kids, you hurt everybody.”

According to several former employees and parents, the owners of Emmy’s Place showed a pattern of disrespect and poor choices. Former staff say, when they made their feelings known, they were met with “passive aggressive” and “dismissive” attitudes.

“The way they would talk to other employees like they were like nothing, promising that ‘they would have it so much harder without them being there.’ It’s degrading, you shouldn’t treat another human like that,” says Ashley Wippler. She’s both a parent to one of the children who was cared for at Emmy’s Place and the sister to two of the former employees.

Ashley Wippler was visibly emotional when she shared how poorly the employees at Emmy’s Place have been treated, “When she told me that she was getting shorted hours and she told me that Nancy wouldn’t even let her get a word in...It really frustrates me when they treat her differently like that, it definitely hurt.”

So now, families scrambling to find a new day care.

According to Ashley Wippler, “I heard there were a couple parents that were here this morning trying to drop off their kids for daycare and found out it was locked.”

Some employees are left to find another job and some are even reconsidering the childcare field altogether.

“The owner, Tony, told one of the parents that there’s, ‘children watching children.’ Personally, I think that’s very disrespectful and degrading, because we do a lot more work than just babysitting,” says Jessica Wippler, a former employee of Emmy’s Place.

“It can’t be legal everything that they did, I know that for a fact,” says Ashley Wippler.

She goes on to say, “It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time that both my sisters worked at Emmy’s Place. With it being closed down they currently don’t have jobs so they’re being mine and one of my friends nannies for the week.”

We reached out to the owners of Emmy’s Place and were told, “no comment.”

We’ve learned from some parents that the owners of Emmy’s Place have communicated to them that their refund checks are in progress and their children’s possessions that are locked inside the building will be available for pick up at some point within the next week.