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Dangerous City Day Care Centers Lying About Violations, State Senator Says

By Eddie Small | November 3, 2016 5:24pm
 State Sen. Jeff Klein has released a new investigative report into the city's day cares.
State Sen. Jeff Klein has released a new investigative report into the city's day cares.
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DNAinfo/Eddie Small

CIVIC CENTER — Dangerous city day care centers are continuing to rack up violations and lie about them, according to a new report from state Sen. Jeff Klein.

Klein and Democratic state Senate nominee Marisol Alcantara recently released a report on the "hidden dangers" of day care that found the 2,244 programs in the city had racked up 19,493 violations between 2013 and 2016, almost half of which were classified as critical.

"Many day care centers around the city unfortunately have hidden dangers, things unknown to parents, which could potentially harm their children," Klein said.

"Anywhere from a failure to do a criminal background check on employees at day cares, actually using toxic material to clean the floors at day cares, a very poor ratio for teachers to young people causing overcrowding problems and lack of supervision," he continued. "The list goes on and on."

Brooklyn led the five boroughs with 9,371 day care violations, followed by Manhattan with 4,210, The Bronx with 2,822, Queens with 2,252 and Staten Island with 838, according to the report.

The My Little Language School in Manhattan was the biggest offender between October 2015 and October 2016 with 74 violations, followed by The New York League for Early Learning in Manhattan with 32 violations, the report shows.

The My Little Language School declined to comment, and representatives from The New York League for Early Learning could not be reached.

Part of the investigation involved taking undercover video at day care centers, which found that employees would falsely claim that their programs did not have did not have past violations and that there was no way to look up violations, according to Klein's office.

The Independent Democratic Conference, which Klein leads, issued a report on day cares last year as well, which formed the basis for Klein's bill that would require the city’s day cares to post “report cards” on their doors.

The bill passed the Senate and Assembly this year and is awaiting approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to Klein's office.

Cuomo’s office did not respond to a request for comment about whether or not he would sign the bill.

The report cards would include information such as how many years the day cares have been operating, the size of their teaching staff and the average number of violations they receive per inspection.

Klein described the report cards as a way to encourage strong improvements at day care centers, arguing that if the city has grade posting requirements for restaurants, it should have something similar for day cares.

“I'm very anxious to actually have this law signed by the governor, take effect immediately in New York and really, I think, give parents all over our city peace of mind,” he said.