Parents save Irondequoit "neighborhood" daycare that abruptly closed

Teacher at Full Heart Child Care reads to children. A daycare at the same Irondequoit location abruptly closed last summer. (WHAM photo)

Irondequoit, N.Y. (WHAM) - When an Irondequoit daycare abruptly closed its doors, parents were left stranded.

That was until one of them decided the neighborhood center was worth saving.

"I felt in my heart this needed to stay a daycare," said Mandy Friend-Gigliotti.

The "closed" sign first appeared on the door on a Friday in August. There was no advanced warning.

Marissa Lagares not only worked at Creative Kids, she considered the people there her second family.

"We were all crying and hugging each other," Lagares told 13 WHAM's Jane Flasch. "I loved all of those kids like they were my own."

"When you hear that your daycare is shutting down you kind of go into a panic mode," said Friend-Gigliotti, whose daughter attended the daycare.

Yet her panic was quickly replaced with a plan.

"About three weeks later my husband and I said we have to buy this daycare," Friend-Gigliotti said.

That was nine months ago.

This week they opened Full Heart Child Care for infants, toddlers and pre-school. They also added additional after school programs for children through age 12.

There's a new name, a fresh new remodel, but returning parents will find something familiar too.

"One of the things that prior families told us was that it wasn't the aesthetics of the building that won them over. It was the actual people," said director Amanda Voglmayer. "The people were warm and welcoming."

Voglmayer said they have reached out to employees who once worked at the closed daycare. Lagares is back caring for some of the same children who recognize her from before.

"It's so heart warming - it really is - that they remember," Lagares said.

With the opening of Full Heart, this daycare "family" has come full circle. To celebrate, they are inviting parents, neighbors, and the community to a special event Saturday, May 6.

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