By TOKUNBO AYENI
New York State Senator Jeff Klein on Thursday unveiled a report showing that safety violations in New York City daycare centers had reached “alarming “ proportions and urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to immediately sign into law a bill requiring local centers to post a “report card” of past violations of health and safety regulations at the door.
The report, conducted yearly by the Independent Democratic Conference, showed 116 “chronic, persistent violators”, at least two-thirds of which had a minimum of 20 violations in their annual inspections by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In a year, found the report, the city’s more than 2,000 programs totaled more than 19,000 violations, with Brooklyn faring the worst of the five boroughs with an average of 11 violations per program. The violations ranged from public health hazards to the failure to do criminal background checks of the workers.
The worst offender, the report showed was My Little Language School, Mi Piquena Escuelita, Inc. in Manhattan, earning 74 violations and 12 public health hazards.
“It is clear from this report that day care centers all around the city continues to rack up dangerous violations that put our children at risk,” said Klein.
The investigation was bolstered by an undercover video of staffers deceiving prospective customers by saying they had no violations when they had many.
State Senator Tony Avella also urged Cuomo to sign the bill.
“When parents drop their children off at a day care center before work,” he said, “they have an expectation that their child will be in a safe environment that encourages high quality early education. There should be no doubt in a parent’s mind that the people they entrusted their child with are providing superior child care.”
The report card bill passed the State Legislature this year and now needs Cuomo’s signature to become law.
Photo by Tokunbo Ayeni