Oak Grove, Minnesota daycare Little Me Child Care has been closed indefinitely after its license was suspended in Oct. 7 after two children were found wandering outside on Sept. 5. The children, both toddlers, had left the building unnoticed and were found wandering around a service road located behind the daycare center.
How many past violations?
According to records from the state, the childcare center has violated health and safety laws 77 times since it opening, many of which were repeat offenses. In March of this year, a DHS licensor found employees at Little Me Child Care falsifying health policy records by photocopying old records and changing the date, rather than hiring a consultant to complete monthly reviews.
In addition, the center didn’t have documentation to prove there was at least one CPR-certified caretaker at the center at all times, or that there was proper training for employees. A spring 2013 DHS investigation found that there wasn’t adequate staff supervision at the daycare after a child took a loose screw from a table, tried to swallow it and the Heimlich maneuver was used to stop the child from choking.
License holder Amber Brick received a letter from the state Department of Human Services stating that the serious nature of the claims in the investigation led the Commissioner to believe they “cannot ensure the safety of the persons served in [Brick’s] program,” and that Brick’s license is immediately suspended.
What should you do if your license is in danger?
As we’ve written about before, Minnesota holds childcare providers to a very high standard of care when dealing with helpless toddlers and children. Allegations of misconduct or maltreatment can result in penalties, license revocation or even incarceration.
If your staff or you are accused of misconduct or maltreatment, it’s very important to take the claims seriously. Although children aren’t always the most reliable sources of information, your daycare is responsible for the well-being of every child you serve. Take each claim seriously, no matter if you think it’s true or not.
In addition, if you see something, say something and encourage staff to do so as well. Addressing any issues can stop the behavior or problem in its tracks and potentially save the daycare from any investigations or penalties.
Last, it’s imperative get in contact with an experienced attorney right away if you’ve been accused of any violations. You career and freedom are on the line, so choose an attorney who knows the industry and its regulations inside and out.