North Liberty daycare to close doors after DHS violations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Liberty daycare to close doors after DHS violations

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

A daycare center in North Liberty is shutting it’s doors after dozens of repeated violations.

The Iowa Department of Human Services found more than 30 minimum state requirements not being met by Building Blocks Child Development Center, finding that the director failed to alert parents of their child's medical issues, threatened employees, among several other violations.

On-site supervisor and co-owner Keith Morgan says after the allegations surfaced almost every parent pulled their child out.

The center has only been open for a little over six months and had more than 50 children enrolled.

According to the DHS report, former and current employees voiced their concerns about being threatened by daycare director Linda Vawter-Morgan.

Vawter-Morgan broke a white board and told daycare workers “If she didn't want to go to jail she would crack all of our heads open,” according to the report.

While the report states Morgan admitted to the DHS licensing staff that his wife doesn’t handle stress well, he says some of the allegations are not true.

“So I was given no chance to make any of the changes or any of the corrections and we were basically left hanging,” said Morgan.

DHS spokesperson Amy Lorentzen McCoy says they’ve come to this facility several times and the staff has failed to remedy reoccurring violations addressed months ago.

They’ve even worked closely with daycare workers to help them meet the minimum requirements, but the center still went without fixing the problems.

“We want to make sure that licensed centers are following our minimum requirements standards so that we ensure that children get the right services and the best services,” said Lorentzen-McCoy.

The report states that medications were accessible to children and a 1-year-old was left unattended for close to 15 minutes.

It goes on to say Vawter-Morgan pushed a child in the face and lied to DHS on several occasions.

Morgan says the medications DHS allege were accessible to the kids were inside an office behind a closed door.

He says the kids have an understanding that it’s not a place for them to go.

Building Blocks Child Development Center will be voluntarily closing Monday, and the center’s operators Linda Vawter-Morgan and Keith Morgan must return their license to DHS by March 25.

The facility opened in August 2013 due to the high demand in the community.

“We put our life into this. This was our life savings,” said Morgan. “We felt very privileged to have these parents choose us to care for their most precious gift. “

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