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Great Beginnings Early Learning Center
618 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 224-2599

Current Inspector: Sharlene Sawyer (571) 835-5505

Inspection Date: June 14, 2018

Complaint Related: Yes

Areas Reviewed:
22VAC40-185 STAFFING AND SUPERVISION.

Comments:
The Licensing Inspector conducted an unannounced inspection in response to a complaint that was received by the licensing office on 6/13/2018 regarding allegations of the center being out of staff to children ratio. Staff interviews were conducted, classroom observations were made and documentation reviewed. The information gathered during this investigation supports the allegations; the complaint is determined to be valid. Please complete the columns for "Plan of Correction" and "Date to be Corrected" for each violation cited on the violation notice, and then return a signed and dated copy to the licensing office within 5 business days of receipt. If you have any questions you may contact me at Stacy.Doyle@dss.virginia.gov or 571-835-0386.

Violations:
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-280-B
Complaint related: No
Description: Based on observation, hazardous substances such as cleaning materials were not kept in a locked place using a safe locking method that prevents access by children. Evidence: 1. A container of disinfecting wipes were on a shelf in the Cubs (3 year old children) classroom and was not kept in a locked place.

Plan of Correction: The Cubs classroom had not been in use due to the merger of the 2 upper school classes following the departure of the Teacher for palliative care. The Clorox wipes had remained out from the last cleaning before the class was temporarily closed. We will ensure that all our staff and our commercial cleaning crew lock up all supplies and wipes even when the class is not planned to be occupied for that day.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-290-3
Complaint related: No
Description: Based on observation, the center failed to have protective covers on electrical outlets in areas used by preschool age or younger children. Evidence: 1. The Penguins classroom (Ages 24 month-36 month) had four outlets that were not covered with outlet covers located on three of four walls within reach of children.

Plan of Correction: The outlet covers were replaced and the center will swap out all existing outlet with retractable ones to prevent the children pulling the outlet covers out of the receptacles.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-350-E-1
Complaint related: Yes
Description: Based on documentation reviewed, the center did not maintain the required supervision ratio of one staff member for every four children for ages birth to 16 months of age. Evidence: The center's transition logs documented the following for the Lambs classroom (ages 6 weeks to 16 months): 1) June 5, 2018 8:52 a.m. - 9 infants to 2 staff (staff B & staff C) 8:53 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.- 10 infants to 2 staff (staff B & staff C) 2) June 11, 2018 8:39 a.m. - 9 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 8:51 a.m.- 10 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 8:56 a.m. - 3:18 p.m.- 11 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 3:18pm - 4:45pm - 10 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 3) June 13, 2018 8:33 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. - 5 infants to 1 staff (staff E) 9:24 a.m.- 9 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 9:25 a.m. - 10 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F) 10:15 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.- 11 infants to 2 staff (staff E & staff F)

Plan of Correction: Upon review of the CCTV system, the required supervision ratios were maintained on the dates and times in question. However, one staff member failed to document her presence in the class logs while the other documented in on the wrong log thereby creating the appearance that the rooms were out of ratio. We will retrain the teachers involved as well as the rest of the staff on properly logging teacher in and out times on the transition logs to ensure this does not happen again.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-350-E-2
Complaint related: Yes
Description: Based on the staff interviews and observation, the center did not maintain the required supervision ratio of one staff member for every five children for children ages16 months old to two years: Evidence: 1. During the inspection on 6/14/2018, the Penguins classroom (Ages 24 month-36 month) was combined with the Ducks classroom (Ages 16 month-24 month) and had 15 children with 2 teachers. The teacher stated they had been over the 1:5 ratio from approximately 7:30am to 9:10am when the inspector arrived at the classroom. 2. Staff H stated the Ducks classroom is over ratio almost every morning. She also stated this has been going on for a while. 3. After the Ducks classroom moved into their own classroom, 7 children with 1 teacher were observed from 9:23am-9:27am. At 9:27am, Staff A moved 2 toddlers to the Lambs classroom. 4. Staff G stated the Penguins and Ducks classrooms have been over ratio the past couple of weeks due to staff being out.

Plan of Correction: The manager on duty failed to split up the children and teachers into their 3 separate groups when the maximum ratios for the combined groups were reached at about 8:30 am. We will have the manager retrained and reassigned to avoid a recurrence.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-350-E-4
Complaint related: Yes
Description: Based on observation and documentation reviewed, the center did not maintain the required supervision ratio of one staff member for every 10 children for children from three years to the age of eligibility to attend public school. Evidence: 1. During the inspection on 6/14/2018, the Cubs classroom (3 year old children) was combined into the Giraffe classroom (4 year old children) and had 12 children with 1 teacher from approximately 9:00am-9:37am. 2. The center's transition logs documented that the Giraffe's classroom was over ratio on 6/13/2018 from approximately 9:30am to 4:30pm when there were 11 children with 1 teacher.

Plan of Correction: This was the same day in which the manager on duty failed to split up the children accordingly and in a timely fashion for which she will be retrained and reassigned. However, a review of the CCTV system on 6/13/18 showed that an extra administrative staff member split up the 2 classrooms at 9:30 am but did not create a new and separate log thus giving the appearance that the rooms were still combined and out of ratio. The administrative staff member that helped out on that day will be trained on creating a separate log when combined classes are split up so each grouping has their own log sheet so we can be sure this does not happen again.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-350-F
Complaint related: No
Description: Based on observation and interview, the center repeatedly reassigned children from their regular group and staff members, disrupting the children's schedule and attachment to their staff members and group. Evidence: 1. Staff A stated they lost two staff members recently (approximately May 15th) and have had to move children around to try and meet ratio requirements in the classrooms when they are short staffed. 2. Staff I stated that when younger children are moved into the Giraffe's (4 year old children) classroom , it is disrupting as it distracts the class from learning due to the children not being at the same developmental level. 3. During the inspection at 9:27am, the inspector observed Staff A move two toddlers from the Ducks (Ages 16 month-24 month) classroom to the Lambs (Ages 6 weeks to 16 month) classroom to meet ratios. One of the toddlers cried as she left her classroom and both toddlers were very hesitant going into the Lambs classroom. The two toddlers were moved back to their Ducks classroom at 10:00am when a staff member arrived. These two toddlers were observed moving three times in one hour during the inspection; started in Penguins (Ages 24 month-36 month); then to Ducks, then to Lambs and then back to Ducks. 4. The Giraffe's classroom teacher was not able to take her children outside during their scheduled outside time of 9:00am to 9:30am, because she had children from the Cubs (3 year old children) classroom with her, was not within ratio with 12 children and the playground capacity is 9.

Plan of Correction: While it is true that the center abruptly lost 2 staff members with one needing palliative care and another taken away from the center in an ambulance, ratios were maintained by the temporary merger of classrooms while awaiting FBI clearances on the hired replacements. On the date in question, 1 staff member was running extremely late while the other was a no-call, no-show. This congruence of events led directly led to the situation witnessed. However, upon the arrival of the tardy staff member at 10:00 am, everyone was placed in their respective classrooms and ratios were maintained prior to the departure of the licensing Inspector. We will ensure this occurrence is not repeated.

Disclaimer:

A compliance history is in no way a rating for a facility.

The online compliance history includes only information after July 1, 2003. In addition, the online compliance history includes information regarding adverse actions that may be the subject of a pending appeal. An adverse action is not final until a provider has exhausted or waived all due process rights. For compliance history prior to July 1, 2003, or information regarding the status of pending adverse actions, please contact the Licensing Inspector listed in the facility's information. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is not responsible for any errors in or omissions from the compliance history information.

Virginia Quality is a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early care and education facilities serving children ages birth through pre-K. Eligible child care facilities must be fully licensed, licensed exempt and a VDSS subsidy vendor, or a voluntary registered day home and a VDSS subsidy vendor. Only programs enrolled in Virginia Quality will display a rating. Virginia Quality contact information for your region is available at the following link Regional Contacts.

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