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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A local woman told FOX 12 she plans to reopen a daycare center in Southwest Portland that suddenly closed last month, leaving families stranded and employees without a job.

As FOX 12 previously reported, families who showed up to Funtastic Child Care at 10110 SW Park Way were greeted by a ‘closed’ sign on the morning of Oct. 15. We learned the owners of the business hadn’t paid their rent in two months, and employees told FOX 12 they were owed for six weeks of pay.

The Oregon Department of Education had threatened to pull the center’s license over a history of what they called “non-compliance” for health and safety issues, but the center appealed, and their license was still active when they decided to close.

Now, April Sliker said she’ll be reopening the space and starting from scratch.

She already owns two daycare centers in Oregon City called Little Bear PlayCare and Preschool. The former Funtastic space will now become her third location, under the Little Bear PlayCare name.

“My heart just ached because I thought this is horrible,” she said of the closure. “Then about a week ago my broker called me and said, 'April I have this amazing deal, if you want it it’s yours, there’s several people in line, and I said I want it!' So we came over here and toured and I got the keys yesterday.”

But she’s taking over the space exactly as it was left with paperwork, children’s belongings and assorted property still inside.

“I’m going around and I’m saving all the artwork and being careful taking it off the walls, everybody has their cubbies, there’s still clothes and pictures, their school pictures that are here, it’s heartbreaking,” she said.

Luckily, the old files were still in the office, so Sliker will be able to reach out to the families and employees who were affected in hopes of bringing them back on.

She’ll spend the next couple of weeks cleaning, re-painting and getting everything ready to hopefully reopen the doors by Dec. 1.

“We’re doing lead testing for the water today and we have the child care division coming out next week and the fire marshal and the health and safety, sanitation department, so yeah we’re staying really busy,” she said. “I’m going to be reaching out to these families, we’re going to have a big community forum next week so I’ll invite the community, the neighbors, let everybody know and open the doors, let everyone come in and get their things and then we’ll talk about where we go from here.”

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