RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WSAV) – News 3 is digging deeper into the sudden shut down of a Richmond Hill Daycare that parents say had a history of problems and unsanitary conditions.
Earlier this year, Curtis Timma says he sent his then 3-month-old son to the center when both he and his wife went back to work. He says caregivers put his son in a chair without neck support. His wife noticed it on a surveillance camera.
“He could have very easily suffocated. This didn’t just happen once. It happened twice within a two week time period,” said Timma.
Angel’s Management said on Facebook that problems — like Timma’s and others recounted on social media — happened before they came into the picture.
A representative who did not want to be identified says Pals operated the daycare until the state revoked its caregiver license in November. At that point, Angel’s Management took over and had to deal with fixing background checks and sanitary problems.
A notice from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning says Angel’s Learning Center “knowingly and intentionally allowed an employee to continue to work at the center without the appropriate satisfactory records check determination.”
Angel’s Management says they have been “diligent in the background process” since the revocation when they took over operations.
The state says management had an opportunity to explain their efforts to remedy the situation to a judge with the Office of State Administrative Hearings. They were unable to because they did not protest a motion that allowed the judge to rule without a trial.
In that summary determination, the judge affirmed the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s decision to revoke the license.
An Angel’s Care representative could not explain why they did not respond to the motion for a summary determination hearing.
The state mentioned consultants went “above and beyond” to work with the center before the notice was handed down in the first place. Complaints about improper background checks dated back months.
According to the state, in November, the center was required to hand-deliver letters and display a large poster board message to parents that explained the possibility that the state could close for good.
According to Angel’s management, they emailed parents about the possibility, displayed the poster board and handed out letters when they received the notice. Some parents say they were still shocked over the closing.
Angel’s Learning Center says it will possibly look for new buyers or set up shop somewhere else.
“It looked good from the inside when we took a tour and they had openings,” said Timma of his experience. “But if we had done our research, we would have learned it was not a good place to send your kids.”
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning says the owner of the corporation that operates Angel Learning Center in Richmond Hill is associated with another daycare in Pooler. There have been complaints on social media about their services.
The state says operations in Pooler should not be impacted by what happened in Richmond Hill.
Someone at the front desk of the Pooler daycare tells News 3 families at the daycare are happy and they did not want to comment on anything else.
If you or your family has been affected by the sudden closure, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning says there are several resources on their website to help.