Pa. orders daycare center shut down - abc27 WHTM

Pa. orders daycare center shut down

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The state Department of Public Welfare ordered all children to be removed from a Mechanicsburg-area day care center after a 2-year-old was injured because the safety of the remaining children could not be assured, according to documents obtained by abc27 News.

According to a document outlining the findings at Children's Ark Early Learning Center in Hampden Township, conditions at the day care facility constituted "gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct in operating a facility likely to constitute immediate and serious danger to the life or health of the children in care."

"This clearly was a high risk...one which prompted us going to the facility on a very short term basis and investigating," Terry Shaner Wade with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning said.

Public Welfare, Hampden Township police and a caseworker from Cumberland County Children and Youth Services made an unannounced visit to the center at 5013 East Trindle Road on Aug. 16 to investigate a complaint of an alleged child abuse incident, according to the document.

The 2-year-old child had sustained injuries while in care at Children's Ark a day earlier and was admitted to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for overnight observation, the document states.

On Sept. 23, the hospital notified authorities that the likely cause of the child's injuries was manual strangulation, the document states.

Children's Ark was ordered closed Friday because the facility owners had not yet made themselves available to state, county or police officials to discuss the child's injuries, according to the document.

Among the other findings outlined in the document, the file for one employee did not contain a completed FBI fingerprint clearance, the file of a person working as a facility director did not contain verification of her qualifications, and other staff records did not have completed health assessments and verification of their child care education and experience.

No charges have been filed. Hampden Township Police are investigating.

They said the daycare was open about a year and nearly two dozen children attended.


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