ST. LOUIS – A child care center recently shut down by Missouri after our Fox Files report has not only reopened under a new name, but it’s also getting tens of thousands of your tax dollars. It’s the site of where we exposed the viral video of a child being thrown across the room last February.
The business was called Brighter Day Care at the time. Missouri shut it down and revoked its license over the summer of 2019.
Fox 2 showed you last month how it reopened under the name New Day Learning Center.
Now we’ve learned $45,435.03 has gone to New Day Learning Center between December 9, 2019 and January 16, 2020.
“My first thought was, we need to make sure our kids are safe in their daycare settings, so let’s get to the bottom of this,” said Missouri State Senator Jill Schupp.
Senator Schupp says she was alarmed and demanded the state act.
“We have laws in place that say you cannot operate in a way that’s harmful to kids,” she said. “So, let’s make sure that—as you have done—and as we have done – reach out to the departments and said let’s make sure we know what’s going on here.”
How could a daycare with its license revoked because of child abuse caught on tape, reopen? A boarded-up church is the answer: the New Jerusalem Cathedral Church of God in Christ.
Inspectors can still get inside because of your $45,435.03 in tax dollars. However, It’s not the same level of inspection as a traditionally-licensed child care center.
The Fox Files has learned the center’s licensed exempt status requires two inspections: an annual fire inspection and one inspection to verify compliance with Missouri health and safety laws. That includes checking “teacher to child ratios,” in this case because of the receipt of subsidy dollars.
A licensed facility requires at least three inspections: the annual fire inspection and two inspections to make sure they’re compliant with Missouri child care licensing rules. (It should also be noted that the inspection based on “licensing rules” is more stringent than the inspection based on Missouri state laws.)
Bottom line – after Brighter Day Care was shut down by the state and told it would have to wait a year to apply for a new license, the location reopened almost immediately and will get fewer visits than a traditionally licensed center.
“We have called the departments and said you need to be diligent and vigilant and check out this facility and see what’s going on,” Sen. Schupp said. “We have sent a follow-up letter to make sure that they have that information in writing and what’s going on is this center will be scrutinized and we’ll stay on top of this as I’m sure you will.”
New Day Learning Center maintains through its lawyer that it’s an entirely new daycare. However, he would not allow us to speak with staff or management.
Keep in mind, if you pull up the inspection history for New Day Learning Center, you will no longer see any of the troubling inspection reports from when the location was called Brighter Day Care.