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Fourth Inappropriate Child-Handling Incident Occurs at Heritage Hunt Minnieland Academy

| September 24, 2013 | 0 Comments | News

The Virginia Department of Social Services has cited the Heritage Hunt Minnieland Academy day care center in Gainesville for its fourth violation since 2011 for staff inappropriately handling children.

VDSS reported that Sept. 4, a staff member of the facility roughly handled a 4-year-old child.

“Staff A was covering nap time in a classroom. Child #1 was having difficulty settling down and was fussing and asking for his mom. Staff A grabbed the child and roughly handled him to try to get him to settle down,” DSS Inspector Linda Reynolds wrote in her report. “On Sept. 5, 2013, it was reported to the center that the child had marks on his arm.”

According to the Sept. 5 report, the assistant director of the day care center notified Child Protective Services, Licensing and Minnieland Corporate Office of the incident. The corporate office terminated the staff member later that day.

“Minnieland takes any licensing violations seriously, especially those that involve the health and safety of the children in our care.  After each licensing visit, Minnieland reviews any violations received and provides corrective action intended to minimize the risk of any repeat violations,” Chief Operating Officer Christopher S. Schuster said in a statement.

Schuster said that following the incident, the Heritage Hunt staff received training in reporting and positive guidance.

“The district director or the educational specialist assigned to that facility were present on a daily basis to provide both oversight and support,” he said. “Three mandatory evening trainings were held and additional training was offered in this facility by the educational specialist.”

Schuster did not address the frequency of occurences at the facitility.

A staff member observed another staff member April 5 abruptly moving a 4-year-old child from the table because the child began eating before he was told to start.

The employment of a staff member was terminated when she “roughly handled” a child Nov. 13, 2012, and July 12, 2011, two staff members were disciplined for “not demonstrating age-appropriate expectations and demonstrating a general lack of patience.”

Each incident prompted an investigation by the VDSS.

“[In each instance], Minnieland reached out to Licensing to report what was perceived as violations and acted quickly through personnel action and retraining/modeling to address each situation,” he said. “We will continue to provide a strong corporate presence in this facility to provide the support necessary to assure continued compliance.”

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