BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — A Daycare and After School Program in Brockport that recently was under investigation by the state is about to permanently close its doors for good in January.
The TLFC Child Care and Learning Center has been operating in Brockport for more than six years. But said in letter to parents due to “financial burdens” brought on by the pandemic they can no longer afford to stay open.
The director also fired back at complaints from former employees and parents that prompted the state to investigate their facility.
With more parents working from home or losing too much income to afford Day Care Services, TLFC saw major drops in enrollment, leaving them with less admission fees to afford properly stocking their Daycare’s inventory and keep up with the rise in minimum wage.
For teachers the decision to close was heartbreaking. “The main thing I’m going to miss is the crafts,” Stephanie Stevens, who instructs toddlers, told us. “I’m very artistic in crafts with them. The kids families are like our own family so we’re going to miss them.”
“Some of our families have been here 3-5 years,” Director Leah Curran added. “I mean the one family sat here and cried. This is their second home so what are they going to do.”
In October, investigations by the Office of Childcare and Family Services were added to the mix after a former employee accused the daycare of allowing a child to get a hold of a toy being disinfected with bleach. Then not notifying the parents when poison control was called. Director Leah Curran argued it was a misunderstanding and all proper measures were taken.
“I said get the facts then call me right back. Don’t say anything yet, get it all together then call me back,” Curran said. “It was misinterpreted in that private group chat that I simply said no. The child was cleaned up and he had not ingested anything. It was simply squished on his pants in the infant room. The part that fell on us was in addition to notifying the parents and writing the report we were supposed to call OCFS. Poison Control was called to make sure they cleaned the child properly.”
The second part of the investigation was how a bag of marijuana gummy edibles were found unattended in one of their main classrooms. Curran explained they were left by an employee after all students had left the classroom.
She also tells us employees involved in both of these incidents faced proper discipline.
“This was on the way out the door, it was an accident,” Curran argued. “Was it an acceptable accident, by no means. The room was completely empty, I took her into my office, wrote her up and disciplined her. Suspended her for a few days with no pay and wrote it up.”
This violation from the Office of Child Care and Family Services is listed in their report as being corrected by the TLFC Staff. As for allegations of child abuse to any student, Curran strongly denied that and welcomed any accusers to meet her in person to understand what caused this.
“OCFS has cleared all of my staff, we are all back to our normal jobs,” Curran stated. “Not one of my staff was ever removed from their position or rotated classrooms and that’s a standard practice.”
Despite their closure announcement, Child Protective Services are wrapping up their own investigations into all the allegations mentioned in this report. TLFC expects to have the results get to them by next week.
Some staff members with the daycare are still looking for new jobs once the daycare officially closes January 14. We’re told parents have reached out to other day cares, but most have been placed on a waiting list until there’s room.