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State closes Indianapolis day care after 1-year-old seriously hurt

FSSA issues emergency closure order
Posted: 9:19 AM, May 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-03 20:47:17Z
State closes day care after baby seriously hurt
State closes day care after baby seriously hurt
State closes day care after baby seriously hurt
State closes day care after baby seriously hurt

INDIANAPOLIS – The Family and Social Services issued an emergency closure order to a northeast side child care facility after a child was severely injured at the location.

Tiffany Griffin said she got a call from Kiddie Garden Daycare on Monday, saying her son had been injured by another child and she needed to come pick him up. 

FSSA spokesperson Marni Lemons said the state ordered the licensed home Kiddie Garden Daycare, 1853 East 38th Street, to cease operations immediately.

The letter said the conditions within the child care home "pose an immediate threat to the life and well-being of the children" in the care of the facility.

The letter also said the child was injured "due to a lack of supervision."

When FSSA inspectors visited the facility on May 1, they cited the day care for not immediately reporting child abuse allegations to police or the Indiana Department of Child Services, lack of supervision, having an unqualified caregiver present, no drug screen for a caregiver, and no fingerprinting for a criminal history background check on a caregiver.

Records show the owner, Heben Ghebremichael, owns two other Kiddie Garden Daycares on the east side as well.

Those licenses are not impacted by the action against the 1853 East 38th Street location, Lemons said.

Inspection records show FSSA found violations in November 2017 and December 2016 at the 46226 location, including not working smoke detectors, no drug tests for two staff members, mold in the basement, and not following proper child-to-staff ratios.

Inspection records on the FSSA website do not list specific addresses for home child care facilities for safety reasons.

At the 46218 Kiddie Garden location, an FSSA inspection in March found the provider had not provided proof of a drug screen.

When Tiffany Griffin went to pick up her son at the 1853 East 38th Street location she said she was shocked by what she saw. Jessie had severe cuts, bruises and a swollen face. 

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Griffin said the day care claims Jesse was sleeping in a separate room with another child and when they went in to see him they noticed the injuries. They believe the other child, a two-year-old, must have hurt him.

“When I saw my son’s face – I was like – If a 2-year-old did it, how could she have that much time to do that? I would have heard my son screaming from outside,” said Griffin. 

She was so upset - that she got on Facebook Live to vent about what happened and demand answers. 

Griffin said the daycare swears another child injured her son - but she's convinced that a child could not have caused those types of injuries and she wants justice for Jesse. 

“I just hope justice is served for my son. That’s all I really care about is that he heals and justice is served for my son,” said Griffin. 

Jesse is being treated at Riley Hospital for Children. 

RTV6 reached out to Kiddie Garden Daycare on Wednesday, and the owner told us "no comment" and that they are cooperating with authorities. 

The owner has the right to appeal as well as an administrative hearing.

The emergency closure remains in effect until an administrative law judge determines whether to make it permanent or not.

In the meantime, FSSA can continue to renew the order every 90 days while the proceedings are underway.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says they are investigating the case but no charges have been filed at this time. 

The day care where the baby was allegedly injured has only been licensed since October 2017, and the only other time FSSA inspected the facility was when it opened.

No violations were found at that time, said Lemons.