Minneapolis Child Care Center's License Revoked after DHS Investigation Reconsideration

December 08, 2017 06:30 PM

A Minneapolis child care center's license has been revoked after further investigation into the case of a 3-year-old's death after the child exited a facility van and was struck by another vehicle in June.

According to a Minnesota Department of Human Services amended investigation report, an initial investigation was launched in August following the incident.

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DHS authorities learned that at 8:30 p.m. on June 2, the 3-year-old left a van belonging to Minnesota Best Childcare Center and was struck by a passing vehicle. The child was taken to the hospital where he/she was unable to be resuscitated and was pronounced dead. (The child's gender was not disclosed in the report.)

During a subsequent interview with staff and family members, a staff person said a family member contacted the child care center and asked someone to drop the family member's children off at home that evening.

The staff member transported the 3-year-old and his/her three siblings in the van to their home. The staff person driving the van said two of the children, including the 3-year-old, got out of the van first and walked to the front of the van. As the two made to cross the street, a vehicle driving northbound struck the 3-year-old.

The passenger in the vehicle that hit the 3-year-old said the child "darted out from behind the van as (they) were driving" by, according to the DHS report.

“I felt so helpless,” said Kim Hayden, who lives just down from where the accident happened.

“I was horrified. Having a small child myself, it could happen to me,” she said.

In August, the Minnesota Best Childcare Center was issued a correction order for failure to report maltreatment as required.

However, after the initial investigation concluded, the DHS's licensing division received a request for reconsideration submitted on behalf of a family member of the 3-year-old who had died. The family member reported to the DHS additional information about the staff member who drove the van at the time of the incident.

It was determined the staff member who drove the van gave conflicting information on his/her use of the facility van, initially stating he/she used a personal vehicle to drive the care center's children home and that the day the 3-year-old was struck was the first time he/she used the facility's van. However, the staff member later said he/she "usually" used the van to transport the 3-year-old and siblings from the care center to their home.

It was then determined the staff member "was not hired as a driver for the facility," and the staff member "was not scheduled to work on the day of the incident," according to the DHS report.

The DHS determined since the staff member was not hired as a driver, the care center had failed to ensure the staff member received proper training to be able to transport children in the state.

Further investigation by the DHS revealed "an administrative staff person knowingly withheld relevant information from or gave false and misleading information to the commissioner" during the initial investigation.

In November, the center was issued a determination of maltreatment, which noted "a failure to supply a child with necessary care and a failure to protect a child from conditions or actions that seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health." The determination also included notice that the center's license would be revoked, effective Dec. 1.

Credits

Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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