Probe Reveals Troubling Truths About NYC Daycares

By Michael Klazema on 9/15/2014

Three high-ranking New York City officials recently revealed the results of a probe into the daycare scene in two of the city's boroughs. Daniel Donovan, Staten Island District Attorney, recently banded together with Mark Peters, Commissioner of the Department of Investigations, and Kenneth Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, to launch an investigation of daycare centers in Brooklyn and Staten Island. What they found was troubling to say the least.

Of the daycare centers that Donovan, Peters, and Thompson had investigated as part of their probe, they found nine with notable violations. The nature of those violations ran a wide range. In one daycare, Peters said that there was rat poison on the wall, a pile of garbage blocking the exits, a broken fire alarm lever, and a carton of rotten milk in the refrigerator. Another daycare center was found to be a fraudulent business, allegedly guilty of collecting $60,000 in taxpayer money from the city but never providing any actual daycare services.

The oversights extended to the employees as well. According to Thompson, there was an employee at one center who was working under a false identity. It's unclear why the employee was working under an alias, but the situation underlines a larger problem with the daycare centers that were probed. Several of them had phony background checks on file or were missing background check files and other employee documents entirely. Thompson merely said that "these workers were not fit to protect our children."

In other words, at least a few of the daycare centers that Donovan, Peters, and Thompson investigated had neglected to run background checks and make sure that they were not employing sex offenders, violent criminals, or other dangerous individuals. Clearly, greater levels of regulation, inspection, and overall accountability appear to be needed for daycares in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Donovan, Peters, and Thompson are seeking action against the nine daycare centers that their probe flagged as unsafe, as well as the owners in charge of operating those daycare centers. The owners have been charged with numerous offenses, like possessing forged documents and fraud. All of them have pleaded not guilty and will likely await trial.

In the meantime, six of the flagged daycare facilities have been permanently shut down. Officials are watching another one of the centers and monitoring it until it officially closes its doors by the end of the year. Donovan, Peters, and Thompson want the other two centers to be shut down as well. Whether the three officials are also lobbying for increased background check regulation and other new rules for daycare centers remains to be seen.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California‚Äôs biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.