LEX 18 News Investigates

May 6, 2013 5:46 PM by Josh Breslow

LEX 18 Investigates: Lexington Daycare That Left Child In Park Investigated Previously

It's been a month since LEX 18 first reported about an investigation into a Lexington daycare after a four-year-old was left alone in a park for more than an hour. Documents we have just obtained show this is not the first, or even second complaint filed against Playhouse Daycare on North Forbes Road.

"Things do happen. People make mistakes," Glendola Lewis, the owner of Playhouse Daycare told LEX 18 on April 10th, when she admitted someone on her staff left four-year-old, Keavy Taylor alone in Meadowthorpe Park after a field trip, returning about an hour later to get him. That incident led the daycare to have its transportation services immediately suspended.

"I've been in business for 33 years and I've never had this happen before," Lewis said at the time.

LEX 18 did some digging and discovered documents that show Lewis might not have been telling the whole truth.

A complaint apparently led Kentucky's Division of Regulated Child Care to launch an investigation in June 2011, finding one of the children attending the daycare told them he "walked to Speedway by himself without any adult supervision" as many as "11 times" because staff wanted him to "purchase items for them such as Pepsi Max and bottled water." The agency found that Speedway, about a half mile round trip "cannot be seen from the daycare," placing the child in an "unsafe situation."

According to the paperwork, a staff member claimed the "child's mom said it was okay." The same documents show the mother disputed that claim, saying "if he can walk to the store by himself then he can stay at home and not go to the day care."

As result of that situation, the agency continued checking in on Playhouse Daycare.

In November 2011, documents claim a surveyor found a child "alone in the back of the preschool room napping on a mat" and three kids, less than a year old, "asleep in cribs" with "no staff present." A staff member later said she "went to the restroom" and another employee had "left because she had a sick family member."

Paperwork from the incident on April 10, 2013 was also included, claiming that a "preliminary investigation revealed that six preschool-aged children were transported from the center to a park by center staff and that 40 minutes later, the staff person brought five children back to the center. Staff at the center were unaware that a child had been left at the park until a person who had been made aware of the situation notified them. Approximately 45 minutes after their return, the owner of the facility went to the park to retrieve the child that had been left there." The documents also say that "a child was being transported in the front seat of a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer," even though "children 12 and under can be killed by the air bag."

On Monday, LEX 18 returned to Playhouse Daycare to see if Glendola Lewis or any other staff members wanted to comment on the investigations. An employee said "no comment."

The only documents available for this story were from 2010 and later. LEX 18 has also requested ones from years prior.


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