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Minnieland Academy #27
6001 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
(703) 266-0880

Current Inspector: Eureka Nance (703) 638-5968

Inspection Date: Oct. 4, 2018

Complaint Related: No

Areas Reviewed:
22VAC40-185 STAFFING AND SUPERVISION.

Comments:
The Licensing Inspector conducted a joint investigation with another public agency based on a self report of allegations of two children leaving the center premises reported by the center director. Based on evidence collected from interviews and video review the allegations are deemed to be valid. Areas of non-compliance are listed on the violation notice. If you have any questions regarding this inspection please contact me at 703-554-4995 or at derek.acosta@dss.virginia.gov

Violations:
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-340-A
Description: Based on interviews, a conversation and written statement from a private citizen, and 3 video recordings, it was determined the center did not always ensure children?s care, protection, and guidance. Evidence: On October 3 2018, Staff #1 and Staff #2 were responsible for directly supervising 13 children outside on the fenced in playground when two children were able to escape unnoticed by staff. In Video 1, Child A is observed on the paved part of the playground riding a tricycle when he bumps into a fence gate. The fence gate opens outward to a paved access road going behind the center. Child A and Child B, both 2 years old, are seen exiting the fenced play area on foot onto the adjacent road. Approximately 30 to 45 seconds after the children are seen exiting the play area, Staff #1 is observed looking towards the open gate, walks over to the fence and closes the gate. Staff #1 is then observed walking away from the gate to place something in a backpack near the playground entrance of the center. According to Staff #1 interview, when she viewed Video 1 showing she closed the gate, Staff #1 stated that she assumed the two missing children were down by the little house, which is located on the lower playground. In Video 2, Child A and Child B are observed reaching a grassy hill which is adjacent to an exit ramp to Route 28 South. The children are observed climbing up the hill. In a written statement from citizen #1 , she stated that she ?noticed two very young children running across the ramp. They were running from the side of the road toward a median or grassy island?? The citizen also stated that she ?looked in front and behind the children for an adult, and there was none with them? and that she and two other citizens stopped their cars on the exit ramp. Citizen #1 also stated that she asked the children where they were going and the children ?stopped, looked at me, giggled, and pointed in the direction they were heading, and continued running?. Citizen #1 then stated that she got out of her vehicle and ?was able to catch them before they got too far or reached another roadway? and that she walked the children back to her car, noticed the day care sign, and asked the children if that was where they came from and the children both nodded. She then walked them across the ramp to the guardrail adjacent to the grassy hill when citizen #2 agreed to go to the school to alert staff. Citizen #1 stated that while citizen #2 was in the building she noticed a ?female staff person walking in the parking lot from the rear of the facility?? when she shouted for her and the staff person came running. Citizen #1 stated ?we turned both children over to the staff person and she took them back to the facility.? In Video #1, Staff #3, who is also a parent of Child A relieves Staff #2 on the playground area after the children have been missing for approximately 5 minutes and 45 seconds. In Video #3 Staff #3 walks to the playground area and Staff #1 is seen quickly moving from the playground area to the blacktop area where the (single) gated fence is located. Staff #1 stated in an interview, that she left the playground area at that time to look for the children. In Video #2, Staff #1 can be seen climbing the grassy hill and returning with Child A and Child B. The time lapse when the two children exited the playground unnoticed by Staff #1 and Staff #2 until they were safely returned was approximately 6 to 10 minutes.

Plan of Correction: Self-reported incident to CPS and licensing. Representatives from home office on site within one hour of reporting to assess progressive actions needed. Both staff members were placed on administrative leave and subsequently terminated based on incident findings. Parents of children involved were notified immediately. All parents of children in classroom involved were notified in-person or via telephone. Once immediate classroom parents were notified; all remaining parents were notified of the situation via telephone, in-person conversation, and/or Precious Status. After speaking with staff and video review it was determined that the gate on the playground was left slightly ajar after an earlier food delivery. District Director called and spoke to Food Services Manager and the delivery entrance was changed and discussed with drivers. Completed maintenance requests for added security measures to include: a new gate lock (completed 10-4-2018), alarm systems on all classroom doors that lead to the outside (completed 10-4-2018), new sign ?Authorized Personnel Only? added to playground fence gate (completed on 10-17-2018 ), and changed lock and added alarm to door that leads to playground (completed on 10-24-2018). Additionally, on 10-4-2018 the Preschool Explorers were moved to a different playground that is on the side of the building and does not have access were the children exited.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-340-F
Description: Based on staff interviews and video recordings the center did not ensure that all children under 10 years of age are always within sight and sound supervision. Evidence: According to the videos provided by the center, Video #1 shows Child A and Child B to be out of sight and sound supervision for approximately 6 to 10 minutes. Staff did not realize the children were missing for approximately 6 minutes.

Plan of Correction: Self-reported incident to CPS and licensing. Representatives from home office on site within one hour of reporting to assess progressive actions needed. Both staff members were placed on administrative leave and subsequently terminated based on incident findings. On 10-4-2018 the Educational Support Specialist (ESS) re-trained all staff on playground safety, sight and sound, name-to-face accountability, and playground positioning. On 10-20-2018 all staff from school attended Safety and Accountability training with a reiteration on name-to-face accountability. A staff meeting was held on 10-25-2018 and all safety policies were reviewed to clarify understanding with all staff members. Worked with sister school to ensure that Preschool classroom was covered by an experienced staff member during the interview and hiring process. Hired and trained a new lead and assistant teacher for Preschool program. Educational Support Specialist, Director, and District Director provided ongoing support for staff and classrooms.

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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