Failure to abide by transportation restriction results in emergency closure of child care center.
Docket Number: 1333404 , Decision Date: March 22, 2013
Attachment: Click here to download the decision.
The Department of Early Care and Learning (“Department”) sought to close a child care learning center on an emergency basis, based on the center’s alleged violations of a prior settlement agreement with the Department. In May 2011, the parties entered into the settlement agreement after one of the center’s employees left a child unattended in a van used to transport children to and from the center. Under the settlement agreement, the center agreed to a one-year transportation restriction. The restriction prohibited the center and its employees from providing transportation to children enrolled at the center and/or contracting with another party to provide such transportation.
The center’s owners violated the settlement agreement by directing their employees to transport children in the employees’ personal vehicles. These employees did not follow DECAL’s transportation regulations, and on some occasions, a vehicle’s seating capacity was exceeded and children were not appropriately restrained. The center’s owners also arranged for some children to be transported by a transportation service without informing the children’s parents. Based on the gravity of the prior incident and the center’s refusal to abide by the transportation restriction, among other factors, the judge found that the safety and welfare of children were in imminent danger and that emergency closure was warranted.