Daycare closed down by Missouri just got $45K of your tax money

FOX Files
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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.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

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