MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announces the closure of another Treasure Valley daycare, making two just in the last week.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said this is not a common occurrence. Typically 10 daycare facilities are shut down annually, but they've revoked the license of Healthy Beginnings Inc., a daycare on Linder Road in Meridian.
The Department of Health and Welfare said Healthy Beginnings has a history of non-compliance when it comes to safe daycare regulations.
"Operating a daycare or childcare facility in Idaho is all subject to state law, so they have to, all employees have to pass background checks," said Aubrie Hunt, Program Specialist for the Idaho Child Care Program at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Background check violations dating back to at least June of 2019 are just some of the recurring noncompliance issues at Healthy Beginnings Inc., documented by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
"We felt that the children were no longer safe," said Hunt.
Other violations include an underage person caring for children without adult supervision, rodent feces in the kitchen pantry, no soap in the childrens bathroom, and a vomiting child not being separated from the rest of the children.
"During the last inspection where there were 32 points worth of children with 1 qualified adult," said Hunt.
That is nearly three times what the ratio should be. All of that ultimately resulted in the revocation of Healthy Beginnings’ license.
And all of that begs the question from parents, 'what should I be looking for when seeking out a daycare provider?'
"Idaho Stars is our partner in child care and they provide great information for families that are looking for child care providers," said Hunt.
Idaho Stars is an online service available to all Idahoans seeking child care. That includes health and safety inspections of each facility for the last three years.
You can also look into complaints filed against daycare providers by visiting https://www.idahochildcarecheck.org/
And if you've got concerns or complaints to file regarding a child care facility, those complaints can be filed by anyone by calling 211, or visiting the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's website.
The daycare owner at healthy beginnings also owns and operates two other facilities in the Treasure Valley.
The names of those facilities are Trailblazers and Creative Discoveries.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said those facilities are not being shut down as they have both passed their recent inspections.