Special Reports

Day care appeals license revocation after kids seen walking home on busy Jones highway

A Jones County day care owner is appealing the state’s decision to revoke her license to operate, after a June 28 incident in which she sent four children in her care walking home unsupervised on a busy highway.

Lavern Stubbs, who operates Kids University Childcare Learning Center on Ga. 49, was notified of the state’s decision in a July 21 letter.

“It was determined during the investigation that serious rule violations occurred which seriously affected the health and safety of the children in care and demonstrated an intentional and reckless disregard for the physical and mental health and safety of the children in care,” stated the letter from Kay Hellwig, assistant commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

The letter outlines the day care violations the state found and describes the events of the day when a state day care inspector arrived to conduct a complaint investigation.

According to the state’s findings, Stubbs tried to hide four children when the inspector arrived because she was keeping more children than her license allowed. When the inspector found the children, Stubbs repeatedly denied that they were in her care, first sending them walking down the highway, then releasing them to a person who was a stranger to the children and their parents.

The children were returned to Kids University by a Jones County sheriff’s deputy after a driver picked them up on the road. The same day, Stubbs was charged with four counts of reckless conduct in the incident, which was described similarly in the deputy’s report.

State day care rules allow day care owners 10 days to appeal a license revocation, which Stubbs did. A hearing will be held within 60 to 90 days, said Stacey Moore, public relations director for the Department of Early Care and Learning, also called Bright from the Start.

To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.