Day care cen­ter put on pro­ba­tion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - BRAN­DON RID­DLE In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Brian Fan­ney of the Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette.

A North Lit­tle Rock day care where a child was left unat­tended Mon­day, re­sult­ing in the fir­ing of two staff mem­bers, has been placed on pro­ba­tion, the Arkansas Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices said.

The pro­ba­tion­ary pro­vi­sional li­cense — which means there will be ad­di­tional mon­i­tor­ing at the As­cent Chil­dren’s Health Ser­vices lo­ca­tion — is among the first steps in ad­dress­ing that in­ci­dent as well as an­other re­ported there June 28, said Amy Webb, a spokesman for the depart­ment.

“Two se­ri­ous in­ci­dents that close to­gether raised con­cerns for us,” Webb said. “We know the fa­cil­ity un­der­stands the sig­nif­i­cance of the is­sue.”

The Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices will work with the day care to pro­vide work­ers with train­ing as part of its ef­forts to en­sure that the fa­cil­ity is in com­pli­ance with state laws and reg­u­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to Webb.

The As­cent fa­cil­ity is the sec­ond within the com­pany in re­cent months to be placed on a one-year pro­ba­tion.

Af­ter the June death of a 5-year-old boy at an As­cent lo­ca­tion in West Mem­phis, that op­er­a­tion was also put on pro­ba­tion­ary sta­tus.

The child was re­port­edly left unat­tended in­side a 15-pas­sen­ger van for eight hours June 12, when the tem­per­a­ture reached a high of 88. Tem­per­a­tures in­side the van were said to have reached around 140 de­grees.

Pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents at the North Lit­tle Rock lo­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments re­leased Wed­nes­day, in­cluded the trans­porta­tion of a child in a van with a bro­ken win­dow and the trans­porta­tion of a child in a van with a door that did not shut prop­erly.

State Rep. Dan Sul­li­van, R-Jones­boro, serves as chief ex­ec­u­tive of As­cent, which has 10 lo­ca­tions in Arkansas.

Phone calls to Sul­li­van and the As­cent day care in North Lit­tle Rock went unan­swered Thurs­day evening.

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