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I-Team: Daycare Inspection Violations Stack Up

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MIAMI (CBS4) – New updated state inspection records of one family owned Miami-Dade daycare adds to the history of failure to comply with basic Department of Children and Family rules and laws that govern safety of children.

Of the 18 new inspection reports at Bright Stars Learning Academy on West Palm Drive in Florida City covering October 2008 through March 2011, only seven were routine. That means 11 were for “Re-inspection” after the daycare failed other inspections.

The newer records show 22 violations or non-compliances. Eleven in safety categories DCF experts told I-Team Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock, the agency considers “serious”.

Add that to past inspection records and Bright Stars had a total of 50 violations, 24 of them serious. Thirteen of them were for Class 2 issues, which is only a step away from Class 1 violations which often means the daycare should be shut down immediately.

Another troubling trend, two were for “driver’s license violations”. In one case, the “facility’s driver did not have documentation of a valid Florida’s driver’s license.”

Another was for not properly insuring and inspecting the vehicle-the van.

Another violation was for not properly maintaining the Transportation Log meaning workers hadn’t swept the van to make sure children weren’t left behind.

When Jomiba opened in October, 2010, the same DCF inspector made note of that van sweep problem on its first inspection report.

The inspection records indicate that the state of Florida was unaware that Bright Stars was closing.

According to state records, five months after Jomiba opened two-and-a-half miles up the road in Homestead, a DCF inspector went to inspect Bright Stars in March of this year and found it abandoned.

The report states that “the voice mailbox is full… the children transferred up the road to Jomiba.”

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