Rodents force relocation of North Port daycare

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NORTH PORT, Fla. -- YMCA child care workers in North Port are scrambling after rats have infiltrated their daycare. It's happened over the past week at the Child Development Center there.

Officials say they're not taking any chances and are now moving out.

North Port YMCA CEO Randy Dunn says the problem at the center began a few days before the 4th of July. That's when some droppings were discovered. "We immediately called three pest control companies."

He says they also started sanitizing, scrubbing, and scouring. "We bleached this entire facility. Every little block and toy."

Traps were set and some culprits were captured, allowing them to be ready for Monday morning. “At the advice of the pest control company, we determined we could in fact open that morning."

Later that day though, more droppings -- then a sighting.

The pest company returned. "They did find a rodent," says Dunn.

With no guarantee the pest problem was squashed, Dunn says enough was enough. "Nobody could give us 110% insurance, so I made the decision we would go ahead and close down."

The YMCA left the rental property on Thursday, as employees moved to the facilities at their North Port branch. "We are moving everything. We started at 6 o'clock this morning. About 20 people have come from all over the association to help out," says child care coordinator Tiffany Alix.

They’re quickly getting license concerns taken care of and are now ready to go Friday morning. "It is going to be so much better, the way we have set it all up for the kids. We have gotten all new toys and equipment. It is going to be really good for them," says Alix.

"I am just very proud of the staff and the people involved in here and the commitment they have to the kids," says Dunn.

Dunn says he understands the inconvenience it's been for parents having to make alternate plans for the three days they've been closed, but it was something they simply couldn't mess around with. "You can't take a chance. These 'Y' kids are very, very important. They are number one on our priority list."

So if you have a child who is in the program, do not send them to the facility on U.S. 41. You can drop them off at the YMCA at Dallas White Park.