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Higher Horizons Early Head Start
6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 5
Falls church, VA 22044
(571) 499-6642

Current Inspector: Cynthia Ford (703) 479-4679

Inspection Date: May 14, 2019

Complaint Related: Yes

Areas Reviewed:
22VAC40-185 ADMINISTRATION.
22VAC40-185 STAFF QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING.
22VAC40-185 PHYSICAL PLANT.
22VAC40-185 STAFFING AND SUPERVISION.
22VAC40-185 PROGRAMS.
22VAC40-191 Background Checks (22VAC40-191)
63.2 Child Abuse & Neglect
63.2(17) License & Registration Procedures
63.2 Facilities & Programs.

Comments:
An unannounced investigation was conducted 05/14/2019 in response to a complaint regarding sight and sound supervision. During the investigation staff were interviewed, children and staff files were reviewed, the center's video recordings were reviewed, the "Believer's" room and the teachers lounge were observed. The preponderance of evidence supports the allegations. Therefore this complaint has been determined to be valid. The exit interview was conducted with the director on 07/16/2019. If you have any questions pertaining to this investigation, please contact Kimberly.Sawyer@dss.virginia.gov.

Violations:
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-340-F
Complaint related: Yes
Description: Based on review of the center's video recording, children under 10 years of age were not always within actual sight and sound supervision of staff. Evidence: 1. On May 8, 2019, Child A (2 years old), was out of sight and sound supervision for approximately 2 minutes. 2. On May 8, 2019 at approximately 10:02am, the video recording shows Staff A leaving the Believers room, with her back turned toward the five children that she was transitioning to the playroom. 3. At approximately 10:02am, the video recording shows Child A leaving the group of 5 children and going the opposite direction of Staff A and the other children, around the corner and approximately 50 feet down the hallway, through a door and into the staff lounge. 4. At approximately 10:04am, the video recording shows Child A leaving the teacher?s lounge with a purse. A few seconds later the video recording shows Staff C leaving the supply closet and noticing Child A in the corridor alone. 5. At Approximately 10:05am, the video recording shows Staff D and E entering the corridor to assist Staff C with Child A. 6. At approximately 10:05am, the video recording shows Staff C, D and E returning Child A to the play room with Staff A and B. 7. Staff A and B were not aware that Child A was missing from the group until returned by other staff.

Plan of Correction: A review of all information and statements were obtained from the two staff members involved. A review of the video recording the incident was conducted. The EHS Manager, Francine Williams , HR Specialist, Kim Alverson and I discussed all of the information. Staff involved were asked not to report to work until an official decision was made regarding the incident. The decision to terminate the two staff members was based on the program's policy regarding child supervision as well as the agency's code of conduct - both were violated. Classroom substitutes were obtained to provide coverage until permanent staff are hired. An action plan was developed by the EHS Manager which included teacher training, review of agency procedure, and Head Start webinar "A Week on Active Supervision: Keeping Children Safe. The EHS Manager reviewed Active Supervision and Accountability Policies with each classroom teaching team. Active supervision training was conducted on May 28, 2019 for 12 staff members. Each staff member signed a copy of the agency's operational procedure entitled EHS/HS Accountability of Children as related to the standard VAC 40-185-340.

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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