State trying to shut down Gwinnett day care

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

State Investigators are trying to shut down a Gwinnett County day care, saying they found "flagrant rule violations that constitute shocking intentional misconduct."

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - State Investigators are trying to shut down a Gwinnett County day care, saying they found "flagrant rule violations that constitute shocking intentional misconduct."

The 101 Kids Place facility near Sugarloaf Mills Mall though will remain open for the short term, at least while the license revocation ruling is appealed.

Parents and guardians of children in the facility told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas they never noticed any problems with the center.

Geneva Lineberger’s 2-year-old grandson attends 101 Kids Place.

"Is it a good place?" Thomas asked.

"I think so," replied Lineberger. "You know, stuff happens."

The Department of Early Care and Learning says a lot has happened at the center in recent months. 

Investigators noted 11 pages worth of violations in a December letter ordering revocation.

Assistant Commissioner Kristie Lewis wrote, "Correctable deficiencies in operation or management of the center existed and had not been sufficiently corrected."

Later she wrote the center and its workers, "Demonstrated a reckless disregard for the health and safety of the children in care."

Investigators say the biggest of the violations occurred at Peachtree Ridge Park back in September.

On complaint said workers allowed two 6-year-old girls to walk to the bathroom without supervision.

While the girls were still inside the restroom, the day care van loaded up and pulled away. A passerby spotted the children later and called the day care center.

That struck a chord with Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Bobby Cagle. He's been pushing his investigators to enforce state rules more often ever since a Clayton County girl was killed after being left in a hot day care van in September, 2011.

The woman who operated the daycare where 2-year-old Jazmin Green attended was charged, along with at least two center workers. Since that day, Cagle says fines, citations  and revocations are dramatically up statewide.

"This is a failure that we cannot tolerate," Cagle said.

According to numbers Cagle has, the number of citations issued to Georgia day care centers has increased 1008 percent since 2010.

Fines are up 367 percent. Emergency closures are up by 600 percent and revocations have jumped 337 percent.

Cagle says the biggest issue for him is anytime a facility loses track of a child.