DURYEA -- A longstanding child care center in Luzerne County has abruptly closed with very little notice for both parents and employees.
Dozens of parents now need to make new arrangements for their children, and the workers are out of jobs just three weeks before Christmas.
Employees at Nanny Rose Child Care on Main Street in Duryea say parents knew before they did that the place was closing. It turns out closing day was Friday.
Some employees had worked there for 20 years and never thought they would be let go like this.
Nanny Rose Child Care has been in Duryea for decades, but nearly a dozen employees just found out this is their last day.
"I actually found out yesterday, through a parent that came in and got a call saying that Nanny Rose is closing. We had no idea," said Sarah Solano.
"Ten people are jobless and parents literally, probably, lost their jobs today, because a lot of our parents just started working new jobs," said Shaina Walker.
About 70 children attended Nanny Rose and some parents were forced to leave work to pick up their kids.
"All the parents are in a panic because they literally had to leave work. to pick up their kids, because they found out literally last minute," Walker said.
The state's Department of Human Services showed up in the morning and said the facility was operating without a license.
New owners took over Nanny Rose just a few months ago.
"They are very silent about what's going on and that's the thing. We don't know much. We don't know much," said Solano.
We spoke to a group of employees who are losing their jobs just a few weeks before Christmas. They say the new owners threatened them with legal action if they talked.
"The phone just rang and they stood there with the phone, and that was a lawyer, and they said that if we say anything this is going to go further. I was shaking. I really was. I'm just shaking," said Barb Luder.
A woman associated with Nanny Rose Child Care even approached Newswatch 16 and threatened us with the legal action.
Parents who will have to find other care for their children say these employees just don't deserve this.
"I think it's unprofessional and you know it's heartbreaking. These staff members have gone through so much over the last few months and just to be treated way," said parent Ann Wright.
Wright says recently parents had complained to the state that the children were not being properly fed at Nanny Rose. Wright says her 8-year-old son even complained.
"He came home like he didn't eat all day long. He was starving. He was like begging for food, pretty much."
Some employees were also concerned about the amount of food the children were given and brought in extra snacks paid for out of their own pocket.
About 10 employees have now lost their jobs but are still concerned about the children.
"Those are my kids," said Solano. "That's the hardest part about this is my kids. It's like what am I going to do now? It's really, really really hard, just to say goodbye one day."
The state Department of Human Services told us it began looking into the allegations involving lack of food earlier this week, but the department did not shut down Nanny Rose.
The new owners had been legally operating the business under the license of the previous owner, but when concerns about the food supply arose, that previous owner canceled her license with the state.
A child care cannot operate without a license.
We tried numerous times to speak with the new owners, but they refuse to comment on what is happening at Nanny Rose Child Care.