State orders Macon daycare to close | News
A Macon daycare is facing closure because state investigators say a child was left in a van for more than four hours.
That's according to the state Department of Early Care and Learning.
They say it happened Monday at the Charlotte's Webb Day Care at 4060 Napier Ave.
Brittany Battle says her son, Kendal, 5, was left in the van.
Reg Griffin of the state agency says investigators visited the daycare this week and interviewed witnesses. They found violations of state rules covering transportation and proper supervision of the children, according to Griffin.
A statement from the agency says the daycare completed paperwork indicating that employees had checked the vehicle twice to make sure no children were left behind. But their statement indicates that investigators didn't believe that.
The agency yesterday issued an order for an emergency closing, used when they believe children's health and safety are in imminent danger.
Owner and director Charlotte Perkins says she is sorry for what happened. She says she fired the two employees who failed to check whether anyone was left in the van. "When they called I came around here, he was eating and playing with the other children. Everybody knows Miss Perkins and they know I am about my children and my parents, that's my first priority," said Perkins.
Assistant Director Lajuana Brown explained the procedure for checking to ensure no child gets left behind.
"You call their name, physically look at the child and they should say here, and then you would check them off. Once everybody is off another staff will get on the van check the van thoroughly, up under the seats, on the side of the seats, and make sure no child is left. That second person will sign off saying no child is left, and then the paper is turned in, in the transportation folder and kept at the center," said Brown.
Battle says Perkins said her son was left in the van for about five minutes. However, Battle says her two children, who also attend the daycare, told her otherwise.
Although Perkins says she apologized, Battle says that isn't true and she wants the daycare closed.
"I leave my kids in their hands, to watch my kids while I go to work. And I got my child telling me mom I was crying and beating on the window trying to get out of the van," said Battle.
Battle says her son pushed his way out of the van. She took her son to the hospital where he was given fluids for dehydration.
A state administrative judge will hear their appeal Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Bibb County Superior Court. The judge, Steven Teate, will decide whether the daycare should be ordered to close.
If that happens, Charlotte's Web would remain closed for at least 21 days while the agency considers further action, which could range up to a one-year revocation, Griffin said.
As a result of the incident, the state Department of Early Care and Learning issued a warning to daycare providers to comply with transportation rules or face discipline.
Their statement says 21 children were left in vehicles by daycare providers in fiscal 2012; 17 in fiscal 2013 and 18 already in fiscal 2014. That's since July 1.