(Memphis) There are new details after an On Your Side investigation into violations at local day care centers.
WREG continues to get phone calls and emails from parents, even day care workers.
Now, one mother is speaking out, telling other parents not to simply depend on the state’s star ratings.
She had to dig and follow her gut to get the truth.
Nelum Walker told us, “I actually saw your news report on July 23rd regarding day care dangers.”
In fact, that’s what prompted Walker to look at the list we posted online of local day cares with recent violations.
She found hers, Tender Hearts Learning Center, now called Reach One Teach One.
“They had a citation for supervision, so that just kind of brought my radar up and I was like, I need to look into my day care and see what’s going on,” Walker explained.
Walker said she immediately contacted the center’s director, who assured her things were fine, even claiming the citation was from years ago, despite the fact our list came directly from the Department of Human Services, which shows it’s from 2012.
The mother of two then made a surprise visit.
Walker said, “I walked into the room and the provider was actually in a side room changing a diaper and so, there was a ton of kids just kind of running around and I counted them and it was about ten of them in there.”
Walker also did her research on adult-child ratios after watching our report and demanded answers.
The center’s evening manager signed a letter admitting the room was out of ratio, but weeks later, the agency sent Walker another letter claiming that wasn’t true.
Walker had already given a two-weeks notice to move her children, but after this incident, withdrew them immediately.
“My kids are in an unsafe situation right, and they can’t speak for themselves and they have nobody to protect them, and had I not walked in here, right, now, who knows what would have happened.”
The On Your Side Investigators visited the day care.
A woman who identified herself as the office manager told us nobody was available to talk when we asked for a manager.
Besides the supervision violation in 2012, DHS records also show another for facilities, plus two supervision violations in 2011.
“When I put them in a day care setting, I’m expecting safety there, because I’m expecting there to be some regulation going on,” Walker said.
We learned Tender Hearts got a “0” star rating in August 2012 which transferred over to the newly named Reach One Teach One.
The facility’s star rating just changed after an assessment earlier this month, when the day care got 3 stars.
DHS is investigating Walker’s complaint.
If you have questions about your day care, call 901-543-6470.