Families look for a way to reopen special needs daycare

A picture of Haven of Hope in Little Chute. The daycare closed in August 2014. (WLUK)

LITTLE CHUTE - Some Fox Cities families are trying to figure out how to re-open a special needs day care.

Haven of Hope in Little Chute closed its doors unexpectedly last week. Now some of those affected are taking matters into their own hands.

Janette Vanevenhoven told FOX 11 her daughter Becky, who has special cognitive and medical needs, was a Haven of Hope client from day one.

"It opened up her world and made such a big difference in her life. How are we ever going to find another place like Haven of Hope?" she said.

Last Thursday the current board of directors closed the center saying in a statement, in part, "the immediate closure was due to a lack of funds to continue operations...As any organization faced with tough situations, this was not an easy decision to come to."

The closure came without warning to families.

"A number of community members and family members with expertise that the board could have reached out to and we could've found a solution without having to close the doors," said parent Lisa Schneider.

Now Vanevenhoven and Schneider have come together with other parents to make a plan to reopen the center.

"We have called for an immediate resignation of all of the board members. We did deliver a letter yesterday to all of the board members and we have not heard of anything yet," Schneider explained.

Schneider tpld FOX 11 they want to form a new board so they can use the same building and equipment.

To reopen, the new board would need to rely on donations, as well as on client payments. Schneider told us us some of those payments were still scheduled to come in when the center closed.

Haven of Hope's current board released this statement to FOX 11 in response to this groups request, saying in part, "the board continues to take its responsibilities to the organization seriously and has no plans to resign. We are working diligently through this process and will continue to share more details about Haven of Hope when available."

According to Schneider, if the board refuses to resign, the group is looking into starting back up at a new location.

"It may have to be reinstated in stages or steps," she said.

Vanevenhoven told us for now, at least, things are looking up.

"This give us hope. We parents are getting together and talking and we have good leadership and we hope to have something in place soon," she said.

The parents' group told us it could be weeks or even months before they're able to move forward with their plans.