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Aug 30, 2011
DCFS Revokes Two Child Care Licenses in Baton Rouge, New Orleans Areas

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has issued two child care license revocation notices to Jumpstart Preschool and Daycare of Jackson and The Preschool Learning Center, Inc. of New Orleans.

"Centers found in serious or repeated violation of regulations in place to ensure the safety and security of children will not be taken lightly," said DCFS Secretary Ruth Johnson. "The violations in these two cases put the safety of children at great risk, and therefore do not meet the minimum standards for licensed child care in Louisiana."

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 two revocation notices due to noncompliance with the statutes and with the Child Day Care Class A minimum standards.

"The vast majority of licensed child care facilities around the state are doing a good job providing safe care for children in accordance with regulations, but when centers put children at risk, we must take action," 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."

Violations cited in the notice to Jumpstart Preschool and Daycare include failing to conduct criminal records checks for all paid and non-paid staff prior to employment. In an 18-month period, the center was cited for six instances of failing to conduct criminal background checks prior to the employment of multiple staff persons.

"Criminal background checks are required by law for both paid and non-paid employees of child care centers, including substitutes and volunteers," said Johnson. "This law was approved by the Louisiana State Legislature and signed by Governor Jindal to protect children and to ensure the safest environment possible for children; it is imperative that centers conduct proper checks and not put children at risk."

Jumpstart Preschool and Daycare was cited for numerous other health and safety violations in the last six months including failure to maintain appropriate child to staff ratios in the center, failure to conduct proper fire drills and failure to maintain proper CPR certifications.

The Preschool Learning Center, Inc. in New Orleans also was cited in violation of Child Day Care Class A minimum standards for failing to conduct criminal records checks for all staff prior to employment and for improper reporting of an incident involving a one year old who was bitten 14 times by another child when a group of seven children were left unsupervised during naptime. Other violations related to the incident included improper child to staff ratios and improper child supervision.

"Child to staff ratios and supervisory requirements are in place to prevent such incidents, and improper reporting and failing to notify parents of a child's injuries are very serious violations," said Johnson.

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.

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