Advanced Children's Academy of Palm Beach could lose funding
10:39 PM, Jan 8, 2013
5:11 AM, Jan 9, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Parents picking up children at the Advanced Children's Academy of Palm Beach couldn't - wouldn't - believe it.
"The owner, she has been my childcare provider since my oldest child was about six months," said one, who didn't want to be identified. "I haven't had one problem."
But in December, after the state found workers dropped two children off at the wrong house, the county's Early Learning Coalition investigated further.
"It was very much the growing nature and the repetitiveness of the citations that very much caught our attention," said Warren Eldridge of the Early Learning Coalition.
Citations include unsanitary diaper change areas, unsafe electrical outlets, holes in sleeping mats, inadequate background screenings for staff and the person in charge - Lorraine Day - wasn't even basically trained in childcare nor did she have proper director credentials.
After knocking on the door and leaving a voicemail, we tried to get answers as they let a parent in through a side door.
Reporter: "Excuse me, how come you're not answering my questions?" Response from worker: "Please got out my face." "
Reporter: "Are you a reputable child care provider?" Response from worker: "Are you an expletive?"
The Early Learning Coalition is prepared to cut off funding for children who attend there by January 31st.
Since 2011, they've received nearly $150,000 public dollars.
Though it's not a county order, the loss of that kind of funding could lead the center to have to close.
"Our ultimate concern is to make sure that children are in a safe environment where they can grow and develop," said Eldridge.
One grandfather drove over to speak to us after seeing our early evening report and said he'd never seen anything to make him worried.
"If they lost the funding, then we would have to find a new place to place her. But up to this time, I haven't seen anything to impress me to remove the kids from here," said Leebert Gordon of West Palm Beach.
The coalition says they will work closely with parents who need childcare to find other providers.
In the meantime, the center has two weeks to file an appeal to make their case..