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State judge approves Macon daycare closing | News

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State judge approves Macon daycare closing

A state judge has approved a 21-day closing of Charlotte's Webb daycare in Macon, after investigators found a boy had been left in a van for more than four hours last week.

Administrative law judge Stephen Teate issued his decision Thursday afternoon approving the closing.

Owner Charlotte Perkins last week appealed a closing order from the state Department of Early Care and Learning.

Teate ruled after a hearing on Tuesday, after lawyers for Perkins and for the state agency argued the case.

He wrote that he found several serious safety violations.

  • Perkins and her staff failed to document when the 4-year-old child entered and left the bus.
  • The driver and another staff member failed to check the bus to ensure no children wereleft on board.
  • After leaving the bus around 9 p.m., the child was "forced to walk across a dimly lit parking lot frequented by cars.

Those violations, the judge wrote, could have "fatal consequences."

A state investigator this week testified that Perkins also lied about how long the child had been left in the bus. She originally said five minutes, then agreed it was 40 minutes.

Perkins' testimony Monday on the timetable "lacks credibility," Teate's order says.

The judge wrote that Perkins and her staff also failed to act quickly after realizing the child was left alone for four hours. Then they failed to cooperate with the state agency's investigation.

Teate wrote that the daycare showed a "flagrant disregard" of state daycare rules.

Under his order, Charlotte's Webb will be closed up to 21 days while state officials decide whether it can re-open. Further action against the daycare could include license revocation.

The daycare is at 4060 Napier Ave. The judge's order says it employs about six people and serves about 40 students.


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