• DCF: Jacksonville day care where infant found dead in van ordered to 'cease operations'

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

    Authorities are investigating after an infant girl was found dead in a van at a day care in the 5800 block of Lenox Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

    The Florida Department of Children and Families said it has issued an "emergency suspension order to cease operations" at Ewing's Love & Hope Preschool & Academy on Lenox Avenue.


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    DCF also said that the facility did not notify them that they were transporting children.

    Read the full statement from DCF below:


    Statement from DCF Secretary Chad Poppell: 
    Every day, parents entrust child care providers with their most precious gifts. Tragically, today a family has just been notified of the gut-wrenching loss of their precious baby girl.

    DCF immediately opened a joint child death and child care licensing investigation in coordination with law enforcement. We will continue to support this family as they mourn the loss of their baby girl.

    Background
    This facility did not notify DCF that they were transporting children. Therefore, transportation standards were not being monitored. 

    The department has begun the administrative process of issuing an emergency suspension order to cease operations at this facility. Parents have been contacted and children are being picked up from the facility. 

    This facility has been licensed with DCF since 2016. During that period, the facility has received 0 Class I violations, 2 Class II violations, and 13 class III violations.   

    Licensing violations are categorized based on the level of severity.
    •    Class III violations are less serious in nature than either Class I or Class II violations and pose a low potential for harm to children.
    •    Class II violations are less serious in nature than Class I violations and could be anticipated to pose a threat to the health, safety or well-being of a child, although the threat is not imminent. 
    •    Class I violations are the most serious in nature, pose an imminent threat to a child including abuse or neglect and which could or does result in death or serious harm to the health, safety or well-being of a child.

    The standards below must be followed every time a child care program transports children per Florida Administrative Code 65C-22:
    •    Only approved drivers who meet outlined credentials are authorized to transport children to or from the child care center. 
    •    A driver’s log must be maintained for all children being transported in the vehicle. The log must include each child’s name, date, time of departure, time of arrival, signature of the driver, and signature of a second staff member to verify the driver’s log and that all children have left the vehicle. 
    •    Upon arrival at the destination, the driver of the vehicle must:
    o    Mark each child off the log as the children depart the vehicle;
    o    Conduct a physical inspection and visual sweep of the vehicle to ensure that no child is left in the vehicle; and
    o    Sign, date, and record the driver’s log immediately, verifying that all children were accounted for and that the visual sweep was conducted.
    •    For all licensed child care facilities, A SECOND STAFF MEMBER must:
    o    Conduct a physical inspection and visual sweep of the vehicle upon arrival at the destination to ensure that no child is left in the vehicle; and
    o    Sign, date, and verify the driver’s log immediately, ensuring that all children were accounted for and that the log is complete.
    •    Each vehicle must be equipped with contact information for all children being transported. When transporting children with chronic medical conditions, (such as asthma, diabetes, or seizures), their emergency care plans and supplies or medication shall be available. The responsible adult shall be trained to recognize and respond appropriately to the emergency.

    Below is the most recent inspection report for this facility. 
    •    Link: https://cares.myflfamilies.com/InspectionReport/PublicReport?id=486833 

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