After school program closes unexpectedly leaving parents scrambling

Parents scrambled to find a new after school care center for their children on Wednesday after receiving an email from the owners at Extreme Youth Sports telling them they had to shut down.

A parent shared the email with ABC Action News.

The owners explain that they had to close because of a new law, requiring them to get a license. They referred to it as a county law, however, a representative for Hillsborough Co. says the law in reference is actually a state mandate.

Extreme Youth Sports has two locations that offer after school care for children.

According to a letter sent to county leaders from JoAnn Rollins, Director of the Dept. of Children’s Services, the new rule pertains to school age childcare after school programs that offer instructional or tutorial services. Those places may no longer provide services beyond the instructional and tutorial activity and the classes cannot go over two hours. They are now restricted from providing meals and advertising as a program that provides childcare without a license.

Rollins writes that the owners at Extreme Youth Sports submitted a questionaire to see if they are required to get a license and when told they were, the staff from the licensing office offered to help them with the process. She goes on to say however, that they got word that the owners announced plans to close the program before that process ended.

The owners at Extreme Youth Sports declined to comment.

In the email sent to parents, they offer to provide parents refunds for payments made toward the upcoming school year. They say they will stay open until Friday, Aug. 4 and that they will continue to offer an evening karate course.

Parents were quick to say they enjoyed the program, but many now say they don’t know where they’ll go since many childcare centers are already full and on a waiting list.

This comes just a week before students around Hillsborough County head back to school.

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