HUDSONVILLE, Mich. - Creative Kids Day Care is facing allegations of neglect, verbal abuse, and unsanitary conditions in a special investigation led by the state.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is spearheading the investigation, making their 25-page report public on social media. This is the most recent of seven investigations detailing a laundry list of violations from August of 2014 to September of 2017.
A meeting with parents was held at the day care center Wednesday night. Parents who were at the meeting tell FOX 17 that staff members went through the LARA report page by page with them and took questions and concerns along the way.
FOX 17 spoke with one of the families involved earlier on Wednesday. Lisa Coykendall, and her husband Tony, were the ones who originally made a post online, saying she found out about the recent report and surprisingly wasn't shocked to hear the news. Coykendall alleges their then 7-month-old son was left in a bouncer the majority of the day.
"So when I went and picked him up that day, he was in a different outfit and his clothes we dressed him in that morning were in the bag and soaked with saliva," Coykendall said. "And the bouncer was also soaked in saliva."
LARA has confirmed several allegations of physical and verbal abuse, documenting findings of children younger than 30-months being placed into 'time out' in a 'rough manner.' Investigators also witnessed younger children being called "dumb" or "stupid" by lead teachers and directors, along with other staff members yelling at children.
Page after page, dozens of established violations confirmed by LARA, including staff failing to wash their hands after changing diapers and preparing food, inadequate staffing levels to meet the number of children in a room, even finding some employees weren't licensed or qualified caregivers. Coykendall said she's confident in her decision to remove Wesley from the program. They've since found a new day care.
We also spoke with the operator of Creative Kids who, at the time, did not want to address the allegations. The day care is required to respond to the allegations with an action plan 15 days after it was filed. The report was filed on September 26, which makes the plan due Wednesday. Pardeep Toor, Public Information Officer for LARA told FOX 17 News the day care has complied with this request and will continue to operate under close watch for the next six months.
"A corrective action plan was submitted by Creative Kids and approved by the Bureau of Community and Health Systems in the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)," Toor said. "Effective 10/10/17, the licensee has a provisional license for the agreed upon period of six months. The department will increase monitoring during the provisional license period in order to ensure the corrective action plan is being followed."
Some of the parents at the meeting told FOX 17 that the day care staff went over their corrective action plan with them, which was a requirement by the state.
LARA's website shows that Creative Kids has had seven special investigations since August of 2014. You can see them here.