Day care closure raises questions for parents

The pending closing of a Rome day care center and its proposed re-opening under a different name raises questions about a parents ability to research such a facility's past history.

As reported exclusively by CNY Central on Tuesday, the Treasured Times Daycare Center will shut down Monday by order of the state. The State Office of Children and Family Services revoked its license after 104 violations over the past two years. Many of the violations are considered "serious" and "not corrected." OCFS confirms however that the center could re-open under a new name, Delta Lake Daycare very soon.

Sources say the new owner is the brother to the current owner, Crystal Pelton. If Delta Lake is granted a new license, it would be at the same facility with the same director and many of the same staff. Officials claim the state is not being duped because the new day care center would have to requalify.

The Mid-York Child Care Coordinating Council oversees 66 daycare centers in a three county area that includes Treasured Times. Mid-York also maintains a data base on the Internet. Executive Director, Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen say if Delta Lake obtains a state license from the Office of Children and Family Services, parents would not easily know of its past history as Treasured Times. "Through our data base or OCFS, they would not know there there was a connection." But Kinney-Kitchen adds, "There's a reason for that. If somebody opens a new site, they purchased a building that was previously a child care center and they're going in there to create a quality center for children, they want to start with a clean slate."

The Office of Children and Family Services will post Treasured Times' history of violations for six months after it is closed. But a parent would not necessarily know about these violations if the facility reopens under a new name. It's one reason why the people at Mid-York Child Care Council say it's important for parents to ask plenty of hard questions of the people who will take care of their kids.

CNY Central contacted the office of State Senator Valmanette Montgomery, who chairs the Children and Families Committee. A spokesperson says Senate bill 3895 would prohibit an owner of a daycare center that was closed due to violations from applying for a new license for a two year period. The spokesperson says that bill is currently being ammended by the Governor's office.

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