East Knoxville day care with violation history closes abruptly
An East Knoxville day care called Bubbles and Giggles closed abruptly, giving parents no notice or reason why.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An East Knoxville day care with a history of state violations and complaints shut its doors Wednesday, giving parents no notice or reason why.
Bubbles and Giggles Child Development Center, located on Woodbine Avenue, sent a letter to parents letting them know the day care was shutting down effectively immediately.
“This is to serve a official notice that the Bubbles & Giggles CDC will shutting down, effective starting today until further notice,” the letter, which had many grammatical errors, said.
WVLT News found state documents that show recent trouble at the center. At the end of January, during a follow up visit from state investigators, officials reported a range of troubling conditions including an educator smoking a vape pen inside a classroom with children present and a baby seen sleeping in a play yard with a stuffed animal attached to the pacifier.
The investigator found, “The director and owner failed to properly manage and oversee the child care facility and staff resulting in multiple violations cited that placed children at risk of harm.”
Corrective action was taken which required the director to be present at least half of the agency’s operating hours.
Tennessee Department of Human Services documents multiple violations at the day care including ranging from failure to perform background checks on employees to endangering children. During several unannounced visits, officials reported that infants were found sleeping in unsafe situations:
Incorrectly preparing an infant for sleep, such as allowing an infant to sleep on their back or anywhere except a crib, can cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Officials cited day care staff for breaking these rules several times in the documents.
The documents also reveal that an infant was given a propped bottle to feed out of rather than being held, which can cause them to choke.
On 8-15-19, a worker from Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) observed an infant had a propped bottle. All infants are to be held during bottle feeding, to ensure they do not choke. On 8-21-19, Program Evaluator (PE) observed 7 children, ages 2 to 3 years, eating snack without proper supervision. The educator was doing other tasks throughout the room with her back to the children. Due to the possibility of choking, educators are supposed to focus on children and closely supervise them while they eat.
Caregivers were also often cited in the documents for leaving children unattended, including a 26-month-old child.
WVLT News reached out to Giggles & Bubbles representatives over the phone, but they hung up immediately after answering.
Parents who are concerned about a prospective day care can use this link to search for any state-sanctioned care facility to inspect violations and complaints filed against the center.
You can learn more about safe sleep practices in this special report from Amanda Hara, Wake Up: Babies At Risk.
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