Child care center wins license appeal

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Capital News Service
LANSING—The state had suspended the license of a child care facility in Manistee because of complaints and 23 alleged violations found during an inspection.
But the facility won its appeal and will reopen on Dec. 7.
The license of the Manistee Historic Red School House CDC child care center was suspended on Nov.16 and the operator, Suzanne Hamilton, was prohibited from operating any child care center before the results of the hearing.

Hamilton called the suspension unfair, saying, “I am not really sure how this happened. I think the state has cited me for a few things that I don’t really think are fair.”
Hamilton said she thinks the state targeted  her center because it’s in an old building.
“The state person we are dealing with doesn’t think we should have children here because it’s an old schoolhouse, but it’s a beautiful education center,” she said.
According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Hamilton has been licensed to operate the center for 60 children since Jan. 22, 2013.
The department’s licensing consultants, Rachel Arens and Katherine DeKoning, inspected the center and cited 23 violations, including insufficient training for caregivers and missing records. The day of the inspection, the consultants arrived to find school-age and preschool children watching a Harry Potter movie, and DeKoning said in a report that “the movie was rated PG-13 and was not suitable for younger children.”
The report indicated there were five staff employed in the center and there were six violations of professional development, besides insufficient training for caregivers. Hamilton didn’t have enough training hours as well, the report said.
After Hamilton won the appeal, Arens refused to talk about the case.
According to LARA, 66 child care centers or family homes had licenses suspended or were denied renewal in 2014, and there have been 54 so far this year.
The reasons varied, according to LARA.

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