Children's Learning Center Rafter J placed on provisional license

The Wyoming Department of Family Services has placed the Children’s Learning Center Rafter J on a provisional license.

After several notices of noncompliance from the Wyoming Department of Family Services in 2018, Children’s Learning Center’s Rafter J campus has been put on a provisional license.

“When there are multiple issues of noncompliance, the level of severity of the issue is assessed to determine whether the department will non-renew, deny, revoke or suspend a license,” DFS Support Services Administrator Roxanne O’Connor said.

The provisional period lasts six months, she said. The child care and preschool facility was issued the license Dec. 6.

If the license does get revoked, it will affect Children’s Learning Center in Rafter J, not the Mercill campus, O’Connor said.

Children’s Learning Center Executive Director Patti Boyd said although there were eight notices of noncompliance, they all stemmed from three incidents.

“While CLC cannot confirm or deny the accuracy of the reports, it can confirm it is following all DFS requirements,” Boyd said Friday via email. “We have had meetings with all families that were involved in each of these incidents and took immediate actions in all cases. We anticipate that we will meet or exceed all DFS recommendations for CLC within the next few months.”

Complaints against the day care vary.

On Nov. 12, there was a report that a child was handled roughly.

“We find that there is reoccurring violation of rough handling of children at this facility,” the report states. “This is the second substantiated report of rough handling since September 2018.”

The report states that “immediate and comprehensive steps” were ordered to ensure the mishandling doesn’t continue.

Hitting, spanking, beating, shaking, pinching, pushing and other actions that could cause pain are prohibited in child care settings.

On the same day, another report alleged that toddlers were confined to a position for an excessive period of time.

“Immediate steps must be taken to ensure that no child is confined for excessive periods of time in any classroom,” the report stated.

A report on Nov. 15 states that child care licenser Pamela Konstant saw a child being restrained during naptime.

“The facility will immediately and from this point forward cease restraining any child for the purpose of discipline or guidance,” Konstant wrote in the report.

On Nov. 16, Konstant observed staff ratios not being maintained.

On Sept. 28, a report says that a staff person slapped a child when he bit her finger.

“One-on-one coaching had just been given by the director to the staff person earlier that week,” Konstant wrote. “Assistance had been offered in the event a situation became overwhelming.”

Other complaints say the facility fed food to a child with a known allergy.

“Facility will develop and submit a plan which will ensure that all children with allergies from all sites with food preparation at Rafter J will have their cards posted in both the kitchen and the area where the child eats,” the report states. “Staff will refer to these cards to ensure that children with allergies are not eating foods which may cause them health problems.”

According to two families who have children at the Rafter J site, they did not receive notice from CLC about the complaints or the provisional license.

O’Connor said the facility is not required to alert parents; it is only legally required to have the license prominently displayed for public viewing.

“Parents entering the facility are able to view the current license,” she said.

Corrective actions plans are under review by DFS.

When the process is finished, the date of completion will appear on the notice of noncompliance that can be found at FindChildCareWy.org. Complaints and noncompliance notices can also be found at that website.

— Kylie Mohr contributed to this report

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066, courts@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcourts.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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