A Winston-Salem, North Carolina, day care where workers reportedly forgot to return a child to their parent before going home for the day is under intense scrutiny this week. This was the third troubling case for a day care that has been cited 17 times by state regulators since January 2013.
The most recent citation, which began the investigation into The Future Leaders Learning Academy, involved child neglect. According to police, a mother arrived at the day care Monday night, somewhere between 9:40 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., to pick up her child and discovered that the building was locked and no one was inside. When she called family members to confirm that no one had picked up her child, she called police. Authorities got in contact with the day care workers and eventually found the child unattended inside the building.
The first five charges occurred in January 2013 when it was discovered that a background check for a volunteer staff member had not been submitted. In April 2014, a criminal background check was not completed prior to a staff member being employed. In September of the same year, the facility was cited twice for the same violation.
Additional violations in that month included equipment and furnishings that were not in usable condition, soiled carpet, foam blocks with teeth marks that couldn’t be cleaned, and missing knobs on a sink and refrigerator.
Outdoor play equipment was also reported to be in disrepair. There were also sharp pieces of gutter and an uncovered electrical outlet on the porch.
Additionally, all staff were found not to have a medical statement on file within 60 days of employment. Some medical statements were older than 12 months and some employees didn’t have one at all.
According to the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, all 17 of the violations issued since January 2013 were corrected during the visit or confirmed corrected via a letter from the day care.
Charlotte Sims, Shantay Patterson and Santana Mobley were the three workers cited with non-physical child abuse. Patterson had prior court dates pending for driving with a revoked license and having an expired tag.
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