FOX Files Followup: Daycare Dangers

ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Taxpayers reportedly paid a daycare for more children than it was licensed for.  Most parents don’t know where to begin with finding a safe placed to watch their child.

Jen Ladlie said she had, “No clue what to look for.  Like I said we always had family keep her before so walking into (a possible daycare) was kind of overwhelming.”

That`s why the Fox Files compiled a database of every Missouri licensed daycare, cited since January 2011.

Like Karen`s Kids on McClay Road in St. Peters where state inspectors document staff admitting giving “time out” to kids for having “accidents.”  The inspection report documents one child put “in the dark for over an hour in his wet clothing.”

The Fox Files tried getting the daycare`s response.

(Chris Hayes asked) Hi, Karen?
(Woman) Yeah.
(Hayes) I’m Chris Hayes, with Fox 2
(Woman) Thank you, though.
(Hayes) What`s that?
(Woman) Go ahead.  I`ll see you to the door.
(Hayes) Have you done anything in response to this inspection?
(The woman continued escorting us to the door) Please, thank you , thank you.

When using our database, which you have access to on Fox2now.com, you’ll some of these violations don`t look very interesting until you dig deeper.  For example, you’ll see on the State calls ‘records not maintained.’  But when you click on the report, you`ll read that it may not just impact people with kids.  It could affect all of us.

It’s the violation for Pamela green.  It’s a common name, so regulators note this Pam Green on Athlone in North City.  The report shows 26 violations after the state documented the daycare was ‘paid for 37 children’ last September, yet ‘only licensed for 10′ kids.

Even after identifying ourselves immediately, we had the following interaction.

(Hayes) Are taxpayers paying you for more children than you`re really watching?
(Green) No, that`s not it.  No I was watching the kids.
(Hayes) What`s your explanation about this then?
(Green) It was just, it, I, I`m… Who is this? Who are you?
(Hayes) We`re with Fox 2.
(Greem) Oh god.
(Hayes) So how many children are you watching right now?
(Green) I`m watching just one now.
(Hayes) And how many are you getting paid for?
(Green) I`m getting paid for one now.
(Hayes) So how could you get paid for watching 37 children?
(Green) That was in the past.
(Hayes) So how did that happen?
(Green) I just had too many kids at one time.  Excuse me. I`m sorry. (Green slowly backs away and closes the door on us).

The Missouri Department of Social Services has not responded to our requests about whether taxpayers are still paying for Green to watch kids.

We went back to Mary Margaret on South Broadway after a tip that the daycare did nothing after an assault, in front of the children, caught on tape.  State inspection records document that it began as a dispute between two workers, then the Assistant Director called her brother and that brother assaulted the co-worker.

When we went to track down the Assistant Director, she went so far to avoid us that she drove off rather than report for work.

So I asked the Director, “In her position as Assistant director, shouldn’t she be teaching kids to teach conflicts peacefully?”
(Director) I would appreciate it if you would please leave our property and quit harassing us.
(Hayes) Don`t parents deserve an answer about their kids care?
(Director) You don`t care about the truth, you distort whatever anybody says.

Decide for yourself when you look at the records we`ve compiled.

Also, many people have asked us about the East Side.  Illinois has failed to provide us similar records.  We`re still asking for them for you.

Illinois does have its own database that you can type in the name of a daycare or a location and get recent violation reports. Find it here — https://sunshine.dcfs.illinois.gov/LicensedDaycareCompliance/Search.aspx

However, it`s not easy to use or understand.  So please feel free to ask me about it on my Facebook page <http://www.facebook.com/ChrisHayesTV&gt;

Also, keep in mind that inspectors only inspect licensed daycares.  So make sure you ask a provider if they have a license.

Join Chris on Twitter http://twitter.com/ChrisHayesTV

Read previous daycare story.