Feb. 20, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A Court Square day care center was shut down by the health department Tuesday after officials discovered violations relating to staff background checks.
The Learning Experience, located at 27-28 Thomson Ave., was inspected by the Department of Health on Feb. 14 and Feb. 18, with the agency finding problems related to staff background clearances.
“We found multiple serious violations, including problems related to staff background clearances and lack of qualifications – and closed the program,” the NYC Dept. of Health said in a statement. “We are working with this program to make sure that these violations are corrected and that they provide a safe and healthy environment for the children in their care.”
The operators of the facility, which had 162 children in its care, informed parents about its temporary closure via email Tuesday leaving parents scrambling to find alternative care.
“We want to be completely transparent with all of you regarding this issue,” the e-mail read. “It was discovered on a routine audit of all employee files by our Field Operations team some discrepancies in these files. As a result of this inspection, we discovered that some employee documents appeared to have been either altered or fabricated, most likely by one or more former employees.”
The company notified the health department of the issue– as it is required to do so– on Thursday Feb. 13 and was subsequently shut down Tuesday. The facility will remain closed until the files are approved by the state.
The operators apologized to parents and said they are co-operating with authorities to resolve the matter. They are advising parents in the short term to secure childcare elsewhere.
“We will provide you with as much transparency as permitted and keep you updated as often as possible,” the e-mail to parents read. “As an organization, we have always chosen to do what is right over what is easiest, in order to ensure the health and safety of your children, and that will continue to be our number one priority.”