KILLEEN, Texas — Hospitals filling up with COVID-19 patients, and low vaccination rates in Texas, are forcing one Killeen daycare to close its doors.
Primary Care Learning Center will be closing down at the end of the month, a decision that is nothing short of devastating for its owner and others.
The center has been taking care of children in Killeen for more than 17 years, but with so many people not willing to get the vaccine and more kids in the hospital with the Delta variant they felt forced to close down.
"Mainly after I talked to a bunch of people and they say they are not getting vaccinated and I just can not risk it,” said Brenda Simmons, owner of Primary Care Learning Center.
Closing down is a devastating decision that has left owner Brenda Simmons feeling like she is letting everyone down.
"I’m really sorry that they got to be displaced like this because I have had some of those kids since they were babies, and some of them are 12 now and it’s hard for the kids,” said Simmons.
The daycare closing down has completely shaken the family including Simmons’ 17-year-old granddaughter, Brishana Harrison, who has been coming here her whole life.
"This is where I grew up," said Harrison. "This is where I learned how to change a diaper, how to feed a baby and I taught some of these kids in here how to walk. So, this place means a lot.”
Harrison has gone from attending the daycare to helping out with the kids and that makes the loss even worse.
"I’ve watched most of these kids grow up and now, most of the kids that I have gotten attached to, I can’t really see grow up," said Harrison. "So, it’s like... it’s hard to deal with.”
After 17 years taking care of Killeen’s children, Primary Care Learning Center wants to get a message to them.
"I just want to say that I hope I have had a positive impact on your lives and I will never forget you all," said Simmons. "I know every one of them from 17 years ago, coming into this building.”
Primary Care Learning Center is closing its doors, but Simmons said their message is simple: put on a mask and get vaccinated if you can.