To the relief of hundreds parents and teachers, the TreeHouse preschool centres, which were abruptly shut down in December, may reopen next week. The preschool chain has informed centre heads and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police that they will begin classes by January 9 or 10.
On Thursday, parents said that the EOW informed them that the centres will reopen soon. The parents had filed a complaint against the preschool chain on December 22.
“The deputy police commissioner of the EOW told that TreeHouse has agreed to pay the centres and resume classes by January 9,” said Vikas Pandey, one of the parents. Adding that the news has eased their worries, Pandey said, “We were having a hard time finding other preschools for our kids at the end of the academic year.”
Rajesh Bhatia, director of TreeHouse, said, “ We are working on clearing our dues. Once that is done classes will resume from January 9 or 10.”
TreeHouse centres in IC Colony, Duttapada and Kulupwadi in Borivli, Maratha Colony and Anand Nagar in Dahisar and other parts of the state had closed without prior notice in December. The staff was protesting as they hadn’t received their salaries, rent and other dues from TreeHouse.
Many of the centres had closed for the winter break with uncertainty about their future. “We celebrated a Christmas party for our kids before shutting for the holidays, unsure whether we will see them again,” said a centre in charge from Borivli. “ But TreeHouse informed us few days ago that they will be able to pay the staff and reopen the centres.”
The parents had complained to the EOW to look into the matter as they had paid fees for the entire year. They demanded that classes to continue at least till the end of the year or refund of full fees, Rs27,000 to Rs35,000, for the academic year 2016-17 and others paid in advance.