Royal Crown Pre-School Academy and Day Care Center (1018 Avenue Y) is temporarily closed for business after having its permit revoked on June 15 by the New York City Health Department. The department’s report appears to substantiate some of the parents’ complaints in an earlier Sheepshead Bites article, while the other accusations continue to go unaddressed.
The shut-down came after two inspections – on June 11 and June 14 – that found that 14 staff lacked required clearances, four teachers lacked required qualifications and the program did not employ an on-site educational director as required by the Health Code. The Health Department also found Royal Crown Day Care to be packing students into rooms and exceeding capacity, while not meeting the required staff-to-child ratios.
Other violations included improper maintenance of children’s medical records and overall adequate child supervision.
It’s not the first time Royal Crown has come under fire from Health Department officials. The school received violations on December 3, 2009, for inadequate supervision and on March 10, 2010, for failure to maintain staff medical records and to conduct staff reference checks. On April 30, 2010, the center’s operators received citations for violations that included failure to conduct staff clearances, maintain child medical records, and conduct employee verification checks, as well as for inadequate supervision, lack of window guards and insufficient staff-to-child ratios.
Of the school’s 12 inspections, six came after parents complained to the agency about the school’s condition, and the other six were required follow-ups after the violations issued. According to the department’s website, the school was also found to be without staff trained in first-aid and CPR, and the operator or designee has not attended approved infectious disease/child abuse training.
The Health Department’s findings appear to confirm a lot of the allegations Sheepshead Bites readers first heard in the comments section on an August 2009 article. Though originally meant to be a quirky post about the business’ marketing strategy, the article quickly became an outlet for scorned parents to discuss unsafe conditions and improper business practices, including fraudulent contracts and poor standards. The readers alleged that meals were not provided as advertised, unsanitary conditions were present, and staff used humiliating punishment techniques. The DOH inspections still leave many of these accusations unconfirmed.
The program’s operators are scheduled to meet with the Health Department to discuss the suspension, standard procedure when the agency suspends a day care’s permit.
Sheepshead Bites confirmed that the day care was closed as recently as today, but the owner was not available for comment.