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Houston Daycare Shut Down for Child Endangerment

Submitted by Anonymous on Jul 2nd, 2009

Our sister site, www.daycareabuse.com, broke this story earlier, but it bears repeating - again and again and again:

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that child welfare officials, in an investigation of the home-based daycare due west of Houston, Texas, found several children locked in an outdoor storage shed, amidst gasoline, insecticides, lawnmowers and other outdoor equipment. The investigation was initiated after a concerned citizen reported too many children at the facility on Wednesday afternoon.

The facility is presently licensed to care for three children at a time - not the 14 found on the premises, ages ranging from toddlers to preteens.

Though an inquiry could take as long as month, the facility was immediately shut down this morning and the facility directors arrested for child endangerment.

Here's where the story takes an even uglier turn:

One of the daycare operators was registered in 2001 to care for up to 12 children in her home. This operation was in existence until 2003.

Our immediate question: why was the original home-based facility closed in 2003?

Texas statutes require reporting daycare incidents, but recent changes to the law mandate that any incidents - ranging from unintentional bumps and scratches to child deaths - are only available in a searchable database for two years. Any incidents occurring prior to July 2007 would not be available.

So what happened in 2003 when the original business closed its doors? Our hunch isn't good, and likely involves foul-play and/or previous incidents with the state licensing board.

And, one step further - if you were one of these parents, wouldn't you want to know too?

And, one more step - if the daycare operators were in trouble with the licensing board, why were they allowed to operate a daycare in Houston several years later? We believe fully in redemption and accidents - but only when the history of the operators is fully understood and accepted by every parent associated with the facility.

We're keeping a close eye on this case, and our hearts go out to the families affected by the situation.