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La Petite Academy #7136
2453 Taylor Road
2449 Suite D
Chesapeake, VA 23321
(757) 465-3893

Current Inspector: Heather Harrell (757) 334-4329

Inspection Date: March 2, 2020 and March 10, 2020

Complaint Related: No

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(17) License & Registration Procedures

Comments:
This inspection was conducted by licensing staff both on-site and using an alternate remote protocol, necessary due to a state of emergency health pandemic declared by the Governor of Virginia.

A monitoring inspection was initiated on 2/27/20 and concluded on 6/30/20. A self-reported incident was received by the department regarding allegations in the area of behavior guidance and was investigated jointly with the local agency. Interviews with staff and collaterals were conducted both on-site and by telephone. Video footage, as well as documentation and records related the incident, were also reviewed. The evidence gathered during the investigation supported the self-report of non-compliance with standards or law and violations were issued in the areas of administration and programs.

Violations:
Standard #: 22VAC40-185-40-E
Description: Based on interviews, video footage and a review of the center's policies, the center failed to ensure that the operational responsibilities of the licensee shall ensure that the center's services are maintained in compliance with the center's own policies and procedures that are required by these standards.

Evidence:
The center failed to follow their written policy for positive guidance and redirection as demonstrated by the following incident:
1. The center's policy for positive guidance and redirection states "No staff member is permitted to use physical, mental, or emotional punishment on any child or demean a child in our care in any way. Staff members are prohibited from using the following means of punishment or redirection on any child: a. hitting, shaking, biting, pinching, pulling, pushing, physical force or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment to hurt a child." The policy also states "Always interact at the child's level and do not attempt to lift/carry the child unless in immediate danger."
a. On 2/27/20, child 1, age 2 years, was pulled by his arm across the classroom, picked up into the air by one arm and forcefully sat down on the floor and pulled by his leg and arm across the carpet by staff 1.
2. Staff 1 admitted that she did not follow center policy for positive guidance and redirection by grabbing child 1 by the upper arm and by grabbing him by his foot and pulling him towards her.
3. Staff 2 (center director) and staff 3 (district manager) confirmed that staff 1 did not follow the center's policy for positive guidance and redirection.

Plan of Correction: The center responded with the following: The staff member involved was separated from employment upon investigation of these allegations. The entire staff was retrained as of 3/16/20 on classroom management, interactions, behavior guidance, and mandated reporting. In addition, effective on 3/16/20 management has put new floor oversight plans in place to ensure compliance. As of 3/16/20 there are both daily and weekly camera reviews being done by the DM and the company safety team to ensure compliance with all policies.

Standard #: 22VAC40-185-400-B
Description: Based on interviews and a review of video footage, the center did not ensure that behavioral guidance shall be constructive in nature, age and stage appropriate, and shall be intended to redirect children to appropriate behavior and resolve conflicts.

Evidence:
1. The center self-reported that a parent reported that they witnessed staff "dragging" child 1, age 2 years, by his arm and sitting him down "too hard" on 2/27/20 through the center's live camera system.
2. The parent of child 1 stated she observed staff 1 "drag" her child by the arm across the room, "drag" him by his ankle across the floor and "slam" him down on the floor. The parent stated she witnessed this on the center's live video and that it has occurred multiple times.
3. Video footage provided by the center showed the following incidents of inappropriate behavior guidance occurring within an approximate 5 minute time period on the morning of 2/27/20:
a. Child 1 is standing by the diaper changing area where another staff person is changing diapers, when staff 1 takes him by the left arm and pulls him across the classroom to the circle time area and sits him down on the rug.
b. Child 1 is standing at a table in the middle area of the classroom when staff 1 takes him by his upper right arm and lifts him off the floor and then pushes him down on the floor by his arm into a sitting position.
c. Staff 1 is sitting in a chair in the circle time area of the classroom and pulls child 1 by his left arm towards her chair.
d. Child 1 is sitting on the rug in the circle time area of the classroom. Staff 1 is sitting in a chair and pulls child 1 towards her by his left foot and them pulls him by his left arm. Staff 1 then points her finger in child 1's face while talking to him.
e. Child 1 is sitting on the carpet next to staff 1, who is sitting in a chair, and tries to stand up by placing his hand on staff 1's knee. Staff 1 then swats child 1's hand away from her knee.
4. Staff 1 admitted to grabbing child 1 by his upper arm and grabbing him by his foot to pull him towards her. Staff 1 stated that she was "overwhelmed" and that child 1 did not listen and was aggressive towards other children in the classroom; however, this reported behavior was not observed on the video footage during the above incidents.
5. The video footage also shows multiple children sitting on the carpet in the circle time area of the classroom for approximately 20 minutes with no planned activity. Staff 1 is sitting in a chair with the children but does not engage the children in play or any activities during this time.
6. Staff 2 (center director) and staff 3 (district manager) confirmed that staff 1 did not demonstrate age and stage appropriate behavior guidance in the classroom.

Plan of Correction: The center responded with the following: All staff have been retrained on constructive behavior guidance effective 3/16/20. School leadership is conducting regular classroom observations and camera reviews to ensure that staff are interacting in a positive manner and following all company policies. The DM is also doing daily and weekly camera reviews with immediate follow up and feedback to school leadership.

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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