Tennessee’s Department of Human Services deemed a Murfreesboro child care facility unfit and closed it on Friday.
According to the DHS Order of Summary Suspension, The Learning Connection, located at 162 Heritage Park Ave., “is a danger to children in its care and imperatively requires emergency action to protect the health, welfare and safety of the children in the care of such agency.”
After three violations of the required adult to child ratio earlier this year, The Learning Connection, owned by Nadira and Syed Hasnain, was placed on probation. However, once DHS received a complaint of a 2-year old child wandering off the day care’s premises on Sept. 26, the decision was made to close the facility.
“The bottom line is, the rules are the rules, and if you break them, you have to face the consequences,” said Michelle Mowery Johnson, director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. “Obviously there are a range of penalties that agencies have to face.”
While there are conflicting accounts as to how the child managed his way out of the building and who found and returned him to the center, the reports agree that he walked away from the day care.
The suspension document lists that the child was signed out of the agency with no signature, just with the word “Mom.”
“We know that the mother could not have signed the child out because she was in police custody at the time,” Murfreesboro Police Officer Chance York reported in the suspension summary.
The Learning Connection is licensed to care for up to 99 children, according to Johnson. However, she noted that roughly only 51 children were at the day care on Friday, when it was closed.
The owners also operate another facility, Take A Break Childcare, located at 427B River Rock Blvd. According to Johnson, this center is only licensed for 8-12 children and has been open less than a year.
Although its owners committed a slew of violations at The Learning Connection, their second childcare center will not be penalized, Johnson said.
“We can’t look at one and say the same thing is going on there if we haven’t found anything there,” explained Johnson. “They’re two separate entities.”
Parents of children who were attending The Learning Connection are electing to take their children to Take A Break, said Terri Morgan, a caregiver at The Learning Connection.
Morgan added that the company is going under new management. However, Johnson said no new licenses have been filed.
Taken from DNJ.com