A non-profit Louisiana daycare facility may soon be losing its license due to allegations from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services that it has failed to provide records of background checks for its employees, after allegedly ignoring the state’s multiple warnings to correct the issue. The Knowledge Garden has already received the revocation notice from the state, with a hearing still required to decide the daycare center’s fate. The daycare is operated by non-profit organization Operation REACH, which is currently experiencing financial difficulties.
The Knowledge Garden is among the last sources of major funding for the troubled organization, which had to close offices in Alabama and Georgia last year. In the past year, they lost support from Americorps, their main source of income, due to accusations of financial “irregularities” on the organization’s part. Operation REACH’s founder and CEO, Kyshun Webster, says that he ended the relationship with Americorps due to reimbursement payment issues. Webster is also no longer receiving a salary since the organization cannot afford to pay him. The daycare fell under scrutiny from the state early last year for failure to keep records of background checks in their files for their employees. They were cited twice and given a chance to correct their actions, but several months later the state discovered the daycare still could not show proof they checked their employee’s criminal histories, according to DCFS spokesman Trey Williams.
In the past three years, the Louisiana DCFS has taken away 155 daycare licenses, and 68 of those were for failing to perform criminal background checks on employees. According to Williams, there are about five main reasons his department will take away a license, which includes failure to provide proof of criminal checks. Williams said what they look for are “serious and repeated” offenses before finally seeking revocation of a license, “and in this situation it was serious and repeated.” Although Williams maintained that all cases are different, past history has indicated that in the majority of revocation requests, the judge has ruled in the department’s favor. This makes it even more likely that the Knowledge Garden will soon be losing their license.
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Author: Michael Klazema