by: Rachel Stockman Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - State officials revoked the license of a DeKalb County day care for repeated transportation documentation problems.
“We are very concerned, we are baffled personally. Our parents are very concerned, we’ve been very transparent,” said Julia Edmondson, who co-owns New Jerusalem Christian Academy in Clarkson.
“The reason the state mandates those rules is because there have been other day cares, where children have been left on the vans, or in the schools,” Edmondson said, adding no children were ever left behind on the van.
“It is serious. We respect the rules, and we are not trying to rewrite the rules,” Edmonson said.
Edmonson said since the violations, she fired problem staff members and hired a new company to transport students.
“When the company is following the rules and makes drastic changes, then we should be allowed to stay open to help the community,” Edmondson said.
State officials said the day care will remain open until the appeal process is complete.
“The center appealed the November 8, 2013, decision by the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) upholding the revocation and asked for an Agency Review. It is Department policy that when a provider asks for Agency Review, the review is conducted by an attorney outside the Department. The Agency Review of OSAH's decision is underway. The center can stay open under ongoing monitoring by DECAL until the Agency Review is complete (a process that usually takes several weeks),” Reg Griffin, Chief Communications Officer with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning said in a statement
“If the Agency Review upholds OSAH's decision, the center can appeal to Superior Court but the center will have to close and remain closed while it waits for the outcome of the appeal.” Griffin said.
New Jerusalem Christian Academy is one of about 14 day cares in metro Atlanta shutdown in recent months due to safety violations and more aggressive enforcement by the state
Parent Tanja Geary said she just switched to New Jerusalem after another day care in Stone Mountain was shut down by the state.
“Pulling them in and out of childcare, from one place to the next. It is a headache on myself, not just myself but other parents as well. Even for the children, you want them to get comfortable. Right when they get comfortable they get pulled out the door somewhere else,” Geary said.