Tiger Tots Preschool stays open despite other childcare closures

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COLUMBIA - Dozens of preschools and daycares around Boone County closed early or shut down on Friday due to poor weather.

Tiger Tots Child Development Center in Columbia was one of the only preschools KOMU found to be open all day with their regular hours.

Since being founded almost 12 years ago, Tiger Tots has  only closed for “three incremental weather days,” said Paul Prevo, the owner and founder.

“A lot of our parents count on being able to drop their kids off at a place they're going to be safe and well cared for, and they have jobs-and they have responsibilities,” he said. “We have parents that represent literally every genre, every makeup, every background you could imagine, whether it’s just somebody who just came here as a refugee, and their working their first job, we have a lot of law enforcement, a lot of nurses, a lot of doctors.”

Prevo says the community at Tiger Tots is like a family. In the past, Prevo says they've helped parents with transportation, diapers, and even beds for their kids if they couldn't afford them.

“Parents come to Tiger Tots because they understand we’ll be there for them,” he said.

That comes to snow days as well.

“We take our responsibility very seriously as far as being able to care for their kids,” says Prevo.

Tiger Tots is the largest private provider of early childhood services in Central Missouri without government funding, and won last year’s “best daycare in Columbia” award from Insider Magazine, although Prevo stressed that Tiger Tots is a preschool, not a daycare.