Jan 29, 2016
Child Care Centers’ Employees Less than Honest, Placing Children at Risk

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today revoked the licenses of two early learning centers, terminating public funding for both, following complaints and recent inspections which turned up dozens of violations of state law, and determined staff at both businesses committed fraud. Treetop Learning Center, located at 1389 Airline Drive in Bossier City, and Noah’s Ark Day Care, located at 119 St. Stephen Drive in Church Point, were issued revocation letters Friday, January 29.

“We trusted these businesses with our precious children, and they betrayed that trust,” said State Superintendent John White. “We are fortunate no children were harmed, but we will not tolerate dishonest child care centers.”

In August 2015, the Department launched an investigation and inspected Treetop Learning Center after it received a complaint the center submitted fraudulent criminal background checks for three of its staff members, including the director of the center. The inspection of the center turned up more than a dozen deficiencies. The center did not have not have legitimate criminal background checks on all of its employees, transported children without a transportation license  and insurance, failed to maintain attendance records, and didn’t meet the required child to staff ratio.

During a December 10, 2015, inspection of Noah’s Ark Day Care, state licensing staff confirmed complaints children were not adequately supervised, and discovered many other deficiencies. At the time of the inspection, only one adult was taking care of five children, all of whom were 3 years old and younger. The center director told licensing staff she is constantly by herself and caring for as many as 11 children at a time, and often has to leave them alone to prepare their meals and use the restroom. The director also told Department staff the center owner instructed her to sign in staff who were not present. The center did not have proper supervision, did not meet the child/staff ratio requirements at all times, did not have CPR and pediatric first aid certified staff, and submitted false documents.

These centers are now ineligible for public funding through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which helps make child care more affordable for low-income families. The Department has alerted families affected by this action and will work closely with them to find alternative child care options for their children.

Treetop Learning Center and Noah’s Ark Day Care have 15 days from receipt of the notice of revocation to appeal the Department’s decision. Providers who have had their licenses revoked are ineligible to apply for licensure for two years. Operating a child care center without a license may result in an order to cease and desist, as well as an injunction from a court prohibiting the continued operation of a day care center without a license and placement on the statewide registry of individuals prohibited from operating a day care center.

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