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"The protection of children in our child care facilities is our number one priority," said DCFS Secretary Ruth Johnson. "Child care centers licensed by our agency must abide by regulations that are consistently observed and enforced to ensure children are safe."
Adventures In Learning Preschool was cited in violation of a number of issues including submitting a criminal background check for one employee that was an altered record of another staff person. In addition, a criminal background check was not completed prior to employment of another staff member. The center also was cited for a history of non-compliance with child care licensing regulations.
"Criminal background checks are required by law for paid and non-paid employees of child care centers, including substitutes and volunteers," said Johnson. "Falsifying documents is unacceptable and violates the spirit of the law, which is to protect children in the care of these centers."
Kingz Kidz Learning Center also was cited for falsifying documents required for licensure. The date of the criminal background check submitted by the owner of the facility was altered. In addition, criminal background checks for four other staff members were not completed prior to employment.
Violations cited for Ursula's Heavenly Angels Daycare and Learning Center include failing to provide direct supervision for children in the care of the center and for failing to maintain proper child-to-staff ratios. These violations resulted in a five-year-old wandering away from the building and staff leaving 13 children unsupervised while attempting to locate the missing child. The center also was cited for failing to properly document the incident, failing to report it to DCFS and for failing to maintain proper attendance records.
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.
"The majority of licensed child care facilities around the state are doing a good job providing high quality care for our children," said Johnson. "But when centers violate regulations and put children at risk, we must take action."
The 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 will terminate the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for the centers pending the outcome of the appeals process. CCAP provides funding to child care centers to help low-income families pay for child care. DCFS will notify all parents with children enrolled at the 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 at www.dcfs.la.gov/ChildCareFacilities.