Widespread Safety Violations Found in NYC Day Cares

Results of investigative report show alarming lack of accountability
By Genevieve Belmaker, Epoch Times
June 1, 2013 4:53 pm Last Updated: June 1, 2013 4:53 pm

NEW YORK—A group of state senators have been studying New York City day cares, and their findings are not good. In the second part of a two-part report on day cares in New York City, the New York State Senate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) looked at day care centers across the state.

The first part of the report, released on May 16, summarized a citywide investigation into NYC group day care centers. They found that of the 2,163 licensed group day care centers in NYC, “a disturbingly large amount” of group day cares that had received citations for “serious violations” since 2010 are still operating.

The worst violators are found in Brooklyn. According to the investigation’s findings published in the report, the NYC Department of Health has over 11,000 recorded health code violations in Brooklyn’s 809 registered day care centers since 2010.

In the past two and a half years, there have been an average of 14.5 violations per facility in Brooklyn’s day care centers. Those in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan average 13, 12, and 11 violations, respectively.

More common violations include things like not screening new hires for child abuse history, sex offender status, and criminal convictions; facility deterioration; and improper cleaning. Other repeated findings include failure to certify the physical and mental health of staff members, and not installing or maintaining window guards.

The other problem the IDC found is the lack of accountability. Despite the large number of violations, the investigation found that the NYC Dept. of Health isn’t enforcing corrective actions, allowing many of them to go unchecked.

Regular inspections by the Office of Children and Family Services across the state has often found violations, but don’t face regular enforcement action by the state agency.