Questionable Memphis day care back in business in other state - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Questionable Memphis day care back in business in other state

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An Action News Five Investigation into that day care van crash revealed what some call a failure in the system. An Action News Five Investigation into that day care van crash revealed what some call a failure in the system.
Alton Christopher's grandson was injured in the day care van accident. Alton Christopher's grandson was injured in the day care van accident.
One year ago he was thrown from a minivan owned by Taylor's Learning Academy. He spent a week at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. One year ago he was thrown from a minivan owned by Taylor's Learning Academy. He spent a week at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.
Charles and Delilah Taylor owned Taylor's Learning Academy. Charles and Delilah Taylor owned Taylor's Learning Academy.

(WMC-TV) - Owners of a Memphis day care, who pulled out of Tennessee with a checkered history, are back in business—this time in another state with their previous offenses seemingly unnoticed.

Last February, a 2-year-old was ejected though the window of one of the day care's vans after it flipped with four small children inside. Only one of them was properly buckled up.

Alexander Christopher's family is grateful he is still alive.

One year ago he was thrown from a minivan owned by Taylor's Learning Academy. He spent a week at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.

"He had a fractured bone in his nasal cavity ... A big scrape, a hole in his elbow. All his teeth were loose. He had to have oral surgery," said grandfather Alton Christopher.

According to the Memphis Police Department's crash report the van's driver blacked out, lost control of the van, and hit a utility pole at Lamar Avenue and Roland Street.

Traffic investigators say the van only had one child passenger safety seat for the four children on board, who were between the ages of one and five.

The driver, Christopher Moore, was ticketed with failure to maintain proper control, failure to provide proof of insurance, and three counts of violating child passenger safety laws.

"Somebody should be held accountable for it. They riding kids around without car seats, it's not that they're caring for the kids," said Alton. "They're just too careless. I don't think they ought to be able to have a day care. Not when I could have lost my grand-baby. That would have been it for my life."

Charles and Delilah Taylor owned Taylor's Learning Academy.

Records from the Tennessee Department of Human Services reveal a history of problems at several of the couple's day care centers including supervision, transportation, and facility violations.

Licensure was denied at only one of those day cares; the others were voluntarily closed by the Taylors.

After last February's crash the Taylors moved to Georgia where they are now in business again at Douglasville Preparatory School.

"Looking at the reports from Tennessee, there were numerous transportation violations that were very much of concern," said Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning commissioner Bobby Cagle.

Cagle says there should be a way for parents to see the complete history of day care providers, no matter where they live.

"There needs to be a national registry that is developed to allow states to very quickly, electronically find that information from other states," he said.

Cagle plans to introduce the proposal at the next National Association of State Child Care Administrators and then make a case to state and federal lawmakers.

Back in Memphis, Alton Christopher wants people to know what happened to his grandson. He says the crash turned Alex into an insomniac.

"He's sleeping about four hours out of the day every day," he said.

He is terrified by even the thought of day care.

"We were scared to send him back to day care," said Alton.

Adding insult to injury, the driver of the day care van that crashed never faced any consequences for not properly restraining the kids in his van.

A copy of the ticket shows the child restraint charges were hand written and never entered into the system.

City Court Clerk Thomas Long told the Action News 5 Investigators the charges appear to have been overlooked by both the data entry clerk at city court and the court clerk in Division One—a fail-safe that Long says failed in this instance.

Long asked a judge if the driver, Christopher Moore, could be charged now since his staff made the error, but he was told by the court that because more than 30 days have passed since adjudication it is too late to bring the charges.

Moore was cited for failure to maintain control of the vehicle and fined $175.75.

He was never charged for the child safety violation; it's not clear whether he would have contested that charge. Action News 5's attempts to reach Moore for comment went unanswered, and his former employers who now live in Georgia told our sister station to get off their property.

The family of little Alex Christopher is now weighing their legal options, and court clerk Long has reviewed data entry policies with the clerk who made the error

Do you trust your child's day care? Join the conversation on Action News 5's Facebook page here.  

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