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BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has issued two child care license revocation notices to God’s Gift Child Care and Learning Center of Shreveport and Tiny Tots Day Care Pre-School of Natchitoches citing both centers in violation of child care standards involving safety.
“DCFS does not take lightly violations of regulations put in place to ensure the safety and security of children in the care of facilities licensed and inspected by our agency,” said DCFS Secretary Ruth Johnson. “In each of these cases the violations are considered serious, repeated or numerous, putting the safety of children at great risk.”
Johnson said that Louisiana Revised Statute 46:1419, as amended by Acts 2009, No. 194, gives DCFS sole authority to deny or revoke a license when a center fails to comply with the provisions of the Child Care Facilities and Child Placing Agencies Licensing Act or any published rules governing child care.
DCFS issued the revocation notices due to noncompliance with the statutes and with the Child Day Care Class A minimum standards.
Violations of these standards were cited in the notice to God’s Gift Child Care and Learning Center for failing to conduct criminal records checks for all paid and non-paid staff prior to employment. In a ten month period, God’s Gift Child Care and Learning Center was cited on four occasions for failing to conduct criminal background checks prior to the employment of anywhere from two to six staff persons each time.
“Criminal background checks of both paid and non-paid employees of child care centers, including substitutes and volunteers, is required by law,” said Johnson. “The Louisiana State Legislature approved and Governor Jindal signed into law this measure to protect children and to ensure the safest environment possible for children; therefore, DCFS takes seriously our responsibility to enforce this crucial provision.”
Other deficiencies cited at God’s Gift Child Care and Learning Center in the last six months include failure to maintain appropriate child to staff ratios in the center, failure to conduct proper visual checks of vehicles used by the center to transport children and failure to maintain proper transportation logs.
Tiny Tots Day Care Pre-School also was cited in violation of Child Day Care Class A minimum standards for failing to protect the rights of children and failing to keep children safe from harm or abuse.
“As the sole authority to enforce child care licensing regulations, DCFS is obligated to deny or revoke the licenses of child care centers to continue to operate when a center fails to comply,” said Johnson. “It is critical that these regulations be consistently observed by and enforced for all child care facilities in our state so that we can be sure that Louisiana’s licensed child care facilities are providing high quality, safe and secure care for our children.”
Both centers were notified of their right to contest the decision by submitting a written request for a fair hearing before an administrative law judge within 15 days of receipt of the notice and citing specific reasons why the facility believes the Department’s decision was reached in error.
DCFS also terminated immediately the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which provides funding to the center to help low-income families pay for child care, for Tiny Tots Day Care Pre-School due to the nature and seriousness of the violation. CCAP benefits for God’s Gift Child Care and Learning Center will terminate upon the conclusion of the appeal process.. DCFS is notifying all parents with children enrolled at the two centers who received CCAP to inform them of the termination and to offer them assistance in securing other child care arrangements.
Parents can view online inspection reports for child care facilities licensed by DCFS, including these two centers, at www.dcfs.la.gov/ChildCareFacilities.