YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids daycare closing its doors

Posted at 8:40 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 20:40:56-05

WYOMING, Mich. — The child care center at the Wyoming YMCA announced it is closing its doors Tuesday.

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids sent a letter home to parents saying its child care program will be closed March 29 “after a comprehensive review of our program, and ongoing discussions with state licensing officials.”

State records show the daycare has been investigated multiple times for various incidents over the last several years.

On Jan. 3, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs investigated an allegation involving children that would constitute “inappropriate supervision.” The investigation resulted in LARA recommending revocation of the license of the daycare.

In November 2018, LARA investigated two other allegations of “inappropriate supervision,” which resulted in placing the center on a second provisional license — a probation period involving increased state supervision.

FOX17 filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain records detailing those allegations.

We have learned about a list of investigations involving the Spartan Stores YMCA daycare over the years:

  • In April 2014, LARA investigated an incident where a 35-month-old child was left inside a classroom while the rest of the children went outside. The investigation determined the child was alone for less than five minutes and wasn’t in danger but established a violation against the daycare.
  • The YMCA received another violation in 2016 after a LARA investigation determined the staff wasn’t taking appropriate action to deter repeated incidents of children biting each other.
  • In June 2017, the daycare received another violation after a caretaker admitted to spanking a child. The worker was fired shortly after the incident. State investigators determined the YMCA took appropriate action in handling the worker and notifying the parents of the child, but failed to have a policy in place for reporting such incidents.
  • In July 2018, the YMCA received its first provisional license after failing to meet requirements for staff and volunteers providing appropriate care and being suitable to care for children, and failing to have a proper ratio of caregivers to children.

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids CEO Scott Lewis addressed staffing issues in the letter to parents, saying the facility will continue efforts towards staff development and recruitment of staff members to address “chronic staffing shortages across the association.”

In a release, the YMCA says it intends to reopen the program in the future.