ATLANTA - Daycares in Georgia get millions of dollars in taxpayer money to care for the state's vulnerable children. An 11Alive investigation found some of those daycares have been cited hundreds of times over the past three years for breaking the rules.
These violations can put Georgia's children at risk.
When Camella Jackson chose a daycare for her infant son, Hunter, this past December - safety was top priority. She visited the Sunshine House in Villa Rica twice before registering her son because, "It looked like a good daycare to me,” she said.
Three months later, Jackson found her son at the daycare with a golf-ball sized knot on his head when she picked him up after work one day.
She said daycare workers told her they didn't notice the knot and she didn't find out about it until she arrived.
"They didn’t call me. They didn’t even have an accident report filled out,” she said.
Jackson thought something was wrong and took her son to the hospital.
“I was in tears on the way to the hospital and when the doctors told me that his skull was fractured I had broke down. I was very, very upset,” Jackson said.
Hunter was almost a year old at the time. He's healing now and wearing a foam helmet to protect his skull as it heals.
The Georgia Department of Early Learning said they're investigating the incident. A spokesperson with the Sunshine House declined interviews, but emailed a response to say, "The health and welfare of the children in our care is our highest priority. We take any allegation of an injury very seriously. We are doing all we can to assist with both investigations. Since these are ongoing investigations, we are unable to comment further at this time."
An 11Alive investigation found this daycare has been cited at least 17 times since 2013. Violations range from “no finger print record checks” for employees to finding ”fencing hazardous to children.”
During that time, it collected $221,000 from a federally-funded state program called CAPS, or Child Care and Parent Services.
About a month after the 11Alive Investigators reached out to Hunter’s former daycare, the Sunshine House sent a letter to parents announcing, the Villa Rica location will be closing on Friday, May 26th. The company blamed the closure on low attendance and said it had nothing to do with the claims of neglect.