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Guidepost Montessori at Burke
6000 School House Woods Rd.
Burke, VA 22015
(571) 404-6991

Current Inspector: Sarah Marbert (703) 479-4678

Inspection Date: Dec. 18, 2023

Complaint Related: No

Areas Reviewed:
8VAC20-780 Administration.
8VAC20-780 Staff Qualifications and Training.
8VAC20-780 Physical Plant.
8VAC20-780 Staffing and Supervision.
8VAC20-780 Programs.
8VAC20-780 Special Care Provisions and Emergencies
8VAC20-770 Background Checks (8VAC20-770)
22.1 Background Checks Code, Carbon Monoxide

Technical Assistance:
Consultation was given on Office of Background Investigation (OBI) contact information, supervision, and recordkeeping documentation to verify proof of identity was reviewed.

An unannounced investigation was conducted on multiple days with two other local agencies following a self-report to the Fairfax Licensing office. The incident occurred on 12/15/2023 and involved three children leaving the center unsupervised. The investigation was initiated on 12/18/2023 and completed on 12/20/2023. Observations were made, documentation was reviewed, and interviews were completed with staff, a witness, and law enforcement. Information gathered during the inspection determined non-compliance with applicable standards or law and violations were documented on the violation notice issued to the program. Please be aware that the plan of correction must be provided within 5 business days of receipt of the inspection notes if you want it displayed on the website. Feel free to contact me if you need any assistance.

Ann Dramstad, Licensing Inspector
Office of Child Care Health and Safety
Division of Early Childhood Care and Education

Standard #: 22.1-289.035-B-4
Description: Based on record review, the Center failed to obtain an Out of State Abuse and Neglect Search for an employee for a state the employee lived in within the past 5 years.
1. Staff #3 did not have a completed search of an Out of State Central Registry Search or documentation of follow up within 45 days of submitting the request (date of hire 8/7/2023).

Plan of Correction: The out-of-state Central Registry search for Staff #3 is now available on file.

Standard #: 8VAC20-770-60-C-2
Description: Based on record review, the Center failed to discontinue employment of staff when Central Registry Search results were not obtained within 30 days of employment.
Staff #2 did not have a completed search of Virginia Central Registry search or documentation of follow-up within 30 days of employment (date of hire 8/16/2023).

Plan of Correction: The Central Registry search for Staff #2 is now available on file.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-140-A
Description: Based on record review, the center failed to obtain a physical examination before the child?s first day of attendance or within 30 days of attendance.
Child #1 (enrolled 10/10/2023), Child #2 (enrolled 9/25/2023) and Child #3 (enrolled 6/19/2023) did not have a physical exam in their record at the time of inspection.

Plan of Correction: ? The physical exams for Child #1 and Child #3 have been received and filed.
? The school has contacted Child #2's parents to request their child's physical exam and ensure it is received by 1/22/24 for continued attendance.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-40-E
Description: Based on interviews with staff and review of the Center?s employee handbook, the Licensee failed to ensure that staff followed the Center?s policies and procedures that are required by the standards when three children were able to leave the center unsupervised.
Evidence: Guidepost?s staff handbook outlines procedures for staff to follow to identify where attending children are at all times.
1. Staff #1 stated that the center staff have not been using the ?Supervision and Head Count Tracker?, as outlined in the Staff Handbook, where staff (Guides) are encouraged to take note of your count every 30 minutes?.
2. The center failed to follow their own policy, which states: ?on days when there are schedule changes by being aware that children are more likely to get confused and to take extra care to keep them on track.? The Center hosted a Holiday event on 12/15/2023 with a combination of craft activities, hot chocolate, and popcorn. Children moved freely around the two open classrooms from 9:00-11:00 am where the Sun, Moon and half of the Toddler classrooms were combined.
3. During the event, three preschool age children [Child 1 (-4 years) Child 2 (4-years) and Child 3 (3- years) ] left the center unaccounted for. Staff 1-5 were not able to identify what time the three children left the large group area and exited the building.
4. Staff failed to ?monitor the exits? as outlined in the staff handbook as three children were able to exit the front door of the facility without the staffs? knowledge.
5. Additionally, Staff 1-4 did not follow the Center?s procedures for action in case of a lost or missing child on 12/15/2023 after the three children left the center unaccounted for. Staff #5 stated that the Guidepost?s policy for a missing child was a ?soft lockdown?, which did not occur on 12/15/2023.

Plan of Correction: In person coaching on best practices was provided immediately following the incident. In-person retraining on supervision best practices was provided to all staff in person on January 11tth, 2023. Procedures in case of lost or missing children were reviewed at this time, and staff reflected together on this extremely serious incident and the need to work together to ensure nothing of this kind ever occurs again.
An updated procedure for action in case of lost or missing children is being completed and reviewed with all staff.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-60-A
Description: Based on record review, the center failed to maintain a record for each child containing required information.
1. Child #1 (date of enrollment 10/10/2023) had no documentation that proof of identity was verified within seven days of enrollment.
2. Child #3 (date of enrollment 6/19/2023) was missing two emergency contacts and physician information.

Plan of Correction: ? Staff reviewed and recorded the details of Child #1's birth certificate.
? Staff contacted Child #3's parents to obtain information on two emergency contacts and their physician.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-340-A
Description: Based on interviews (staff, the witness who found the children/stopped them, and the police officer who was called to the scene), the center staff failed to supervise children and ensure their care, protection, and guidance when children were able to leave the center unaccounted for.
1. On 12/15/2023, three preschool children [Child # 1 (4 years), Child # 2 (4 years) and Child #3 (3 years)] left the holiday event and exited the center at approximately 10:15 am without the awareness of any staff at the center.
2. The three children ran up School House Woods Road (speed limit 25 mph) and turned left onto Burke Center Parkway (2 lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 40 mph) to Coffer Woods intersection (approximately .3 miles away from the center).
3. The staff were unaware of the children?s whereabouts for approximately 17 minutes as no one from Guidepost Montessori arrived at the intersection until approximately 10:32 am where the children had been stopped by Witness #1.
4. A Fairfax County Police Officer was dispatched at 10:29 am and arrived at approximately 10:33 am - a minute after Staff #1 arrived to find the children sitting on the sidewalk with Witness #1.
5. The three children and Staff #1 walked back to the center at approximately 10:46 am.

Plan of Correction: *The school will always ensure that there is a staff member seated at the front desk to monitor the front exits when children are in the adjacent classroom and during events.
* School staff will conduct and document headcounts in writing in each classroom every 30 minutes.
* School staff will always conduct a face-to-name check in addition to a headcount before one from one area of the building to another.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-340-F
Description: Based on interview statements, children under ten years of age were not always kept within actual sight and sound supervision.
1. On 12/15/2023, multiple staff were unaware of the whereabouts of three preschool age children [Child #1 (4 years), Child #2 (4 years) and Child #3 (3 years)] for approximately 17 minutes from 10:15 am-10:32 am when the children left the center. During this time the children were alone with no staff supervising their safety.
2. Child #3 stated ?he was afraid he would be smushed?.
3. Staff #2 stated that ?Child #1 and Child #2 left the classroom on a previous occasion in early December 2023 and entered the kitchen unsupervised for approximately 45-60 seconds?.

Plan of Correction: In addition to retraining all staff on supervision best practices, a safety gate was installed between the classroom and both the entrance to the kitchen and the main entrance/ exit to deter children from exiting the classroom without an adult.
The school will install a ring doorbell at the main entrance/exit to ensure an audible chime as an audible alert that someone is present near the exit. Audible alarms will be added to exit doors that are not routinely used to alert staff immediately if one of these doors is breached.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-400-B
Description: Based on observation and staff statement, the center failed to ensure behavioral guidance was constructive in nature, age and stage appropriate, and intended to redirect children to appropriate behavior and resolve conflicts.
1. On 12/18/2023, Child #3 (3 years) was observed in the kitchen area with Staff #7 who was setting up snack.
2. Staff #7 stated ?the child was in the kitchen for 10 minutes because the child was having a difficult time on the playground?.
3. Kitchen was equipped with utensils, sink, and a non-working stove. It was not designated as a childcare space.

Plan of Correction: While the staff members in these instances maintained supervision in the kitchen and allowed a child to accompany them to this area with the goal of providing a change of environment and an opportunity to engage in positive, purposeful activity, all staff have since been advised that this is not a designated child care space and children cannot be brought inside.

Standard #: 8VAC20-780-550-N
Description: Based on staff statements and phone log time stamps, the center failed to notify the parent or guardian immediately of a lost or missing child.
1. On 12/15/2023, Staff #4 stated she ?could not find Child #3 (3 years) at approximately 10:20 am when she was looking for the child to comfort another child whose parents had left the event and was upset?. Staff #4 informed Staff #1 and both started looking in the combined classroom space for the missing child.
2. Staff #1 stated that they realized that three children [Child #1 (4 years), Child#2 (4 years) and Child#3 (3 years)] were missing at approximately 10:30 am when a neighbor knocked on the door to inform the center that three children were seen running up School House Woods Road.
3. Staff #5 was notified of the missing children at 10:32 am.
4. Child #3?s parent was called at approximately 11:29 by Staff #5. The staff left a message, and the parent returned the call at 11:38 am.
5. Child #1?s parent was called at approximately 11:29 by Staff #5.
6. Child #2?s parent was called at 11:43 by Staff #5.
7. Staff #5 stated, she ?wanted to ensure a face to name count was taken when the children returned and to have a better understanding of what had happened before reaching out to parents.?

Plan of Correction: During this unprecedented event, the first priority was ensuring the children who had left the property were located immediately, and face-to-name checks were completed in all classrooms. Once the children were returned to their classrooms and determined to be safe and in good spirits and the building was secure, the next priority was understanding what happened and making calls to parents. Having since reviewed the regulations and our own procedure, the school recognizes that this delay was out-of-step with both. These procedures have been reviewed and updated, and the school is committed to ensuring response to a missing child in the future includes one person contacting parents immediately while other staff members promptly work to ensure the safety of all involved. More importantly, the school is committed to ensuring an event of this kind never occurs again.


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.

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