I-Team: A Family Owned Daycare’s Troubling History
MIAMI (CBS4)- Did the owners of Jomiba Learning Center in Homestead move and change the daycare’s name because of problems at a previous center? The owners aren’t talking.
But the CBS4 I-Team has learned that the owners of Jomiba ran Bright Stars Learning Academy in Florida City. It’s another daycare with a long, troubling history of violations. Records obtained by CBS4 Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock show that both daycares had been cited by state inspectors for some of the exact same violations.
What’s worse? These public records have now been taken off the Internet and aren’t available to parents, but the I-Team has them.
Everything around Bright Stars Learning Academy seems in disarray even now, more than 10 months after the daycare moved two and a half miles away.
Though officials were told that Bright Stars moved up the street and changed its name to Jomiba Learning Center because it needed more space, the CBS4 I-Team compared property records and discovered that the building housing Jomiba is only 217 square feet bigger and 51 years older, built in 1944, than the 1995 building where Bright Stars was located.
According to records uncovered by the I-Team, Bright Stars, owned by Jose Ricardo Ramos the father of Jomiba’s owner, Misael Ramos, had a history of violating state daycare rules regarding safety.
The violations included a lack of sufficient staff ratio to children in October 2007.
There were four different instances of failure to maintain and properly sanitize toilets, bathroom, plumbing and potty chairs again in 2007. And four more instances of failure to maintain children’s health and immunization records, as well as the improper screening of workers six times.
Coincidental or not, Jomiba was then cited for the exact same violation in its latest inspection last month.
The I-Team tried to get answers from DCF about whether officials there knew about this connection and history with Bright Stars, Stock reported. When the I-Team went to DCF headquarters in downtown Miami, no one was there to even answer the phone. A security guard couldn’t even get his phone calls answered.
A spokesman in Broward has informed the I-Team that it is DCF’s policy to remove public records from the Internet after a facility is closed. That policy is now under review.
DCF has since released the last two years of Bright Stars inspection records to the I-Team.