Nov 4, 2009 1:57 PM by Jthibodeaux

Operating licenses of 12 day-care centers revoked

BATON ROUGE - Twelve day-care centers have lost their state operating licenses because of safety concerns, the state Department of Social Services announced Tuesday, as it wrapped up a new round of inspections.

The department in September began inspections of all state-licensed day-care centers around Louisiana that previously had licenses revoked or were noted to have deficiencies.

DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols said the 12 centers that lost their licenses didn't correct past violations and posed "a serious threat to the safety of the children."

"Because they were repeat-offenders that failed to take corrective action after being cited for serious violations, it was imperative that these centers be closed," Nichols said in a statement. "We are working with the families of children in these centers to provide them with information about other child care available."

Among the problems cited were too few staff, inadequate staff training, transportation problems and inappropriate storage of hazardous substances, DSS said.

Those day cares whose licenses were revoked were located in Metairie, Leesville, Clayton, Sulphur, Bossier City, LaPlace, Pineville, Baton Rouge, Edgard and Rayville, the department said.

The centers won't be able to reapply for a new license for two years.

The department is revamping its safety and licensing regulations for day care centers, with the new regulations planned to be in place by September 2010.

The department also plans to inspect all 1,906 licensed day-care centers by that deadline, as well.

The move followed a similar review of children's group homes and residential care facilities after allegations that DSS wasn't properly protecting children from abuse or neglect.

DSS licenses all day-care centers, except for care provided to six or fewer children in a person's home.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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