MIAMI (CBS4)- The CBS4 I-Team has learned that a daycare run by the same owners behind a Homestead daycare center where a young boy died had extensive problems complying with state rules.
Some of the violations were considered serious by DCF experts, according to CBS4 I-Team investigator Stephen Stock, who has been looking into the safety of children at daycares for three years. Stock he helped change the way the state of Florida tracks daycares.
A closer looking into the history of the Jomiba Learning Center comes days after Dominicue Andrews was found dead by the daycare center. The boy’s mother and family are suing the Homestead daycare. Their attorney said he was filing the wrongful death lawsuit against the daycare because he says it failed to properly protect the toddler and says the facility did not properly train and supervise its employees.
State records show Jomiba Learning Center opened back in October of last year, Stock reported.
Officials said the daycare was operated in another location at West Palm Drive in Florida City, but under the name Bright Stars Learning Academy and by the same principles.
The I-Team tracked down years worth of records for Bright Stars Learning Academy, which state corporation records show was owned by Joba Care Corporation. That corporation’s registered agent is Jose Ricardo Ramos of west Palm Drive in Florida City–the father of Jomiba’s owner Misael Ramos.
Three years ago, the CBS4 I-team compiled inspection records for almost every daycare in the state of Florida.
According to those inspection records from DCF, Bright Stars Learning Academy in Florida City had 38 violations from December 18, 2006 to July 29, 2008. Thirteen of those violations were considered serious by DCF experts, Stock reported.
That number ranks them 12th highest in Miami-Dade over that time period out of 978 daycares.
The violations include staff/student ratio on October 24, 2007 and four violations of Children’s Records, including immunization, six violations of background screening requirements and one violation of training on September 24, 2007, according to Stock.
After the boy’s death, the center seized operations.
Mark Riordan with DCF issued a statement saying:
The owners, operators and staff of the Jomiba Learning Center have been cooperating with DCF child protective and child care licensing investigators. The day care’s owners have voluntarily closed pending the outcome of the investigation. As part of its ongoing investigation, the Department of Children and Families continues to explore all options available to it, up to and including suspending and/or revoking the center’s license to operate.