State closes local day care

The state of Missouri has revoked the child care license for Kids Unlimited Childcare Center, which operated a day care on Fairgrounds Road until Friday.

According to letters from the state addressed to childcare director Jamie King, the license was both suspended and revoked Thursday. Ryan Hobart, with the office of public information in the Department of Health and Senior Services, said there have been other instances where both the suspension and revocation of a license happen in the same day.

The letters state a 23-month-old child was able to leave the facility unsupervised June 13 and was gone for 20 minutes before the child was brought back to the center. The letter states the child “walked through the open gate of the fenced playground, through the back and front yard of a neighboring yard, and onto Fairland Road.”

A passerby took the child and called the Jefferson City Police Department, while another person went to the back gate of the playground at Kids Unlimited to ask if any children were missing. “The facility initially stated that they were not missing any children, but after doing a head count, Kids Unlimited staff determined that they were missing one child.”

According to the letters, the same child left the facility through another gate June 17 “and was headed toward a busy street before facility staff intercepted him.”

The letters state there were three rule violations that “represent a threat of imminent bodily harm to the children in your care.”

The revocation can be appealed by the childcare center, which would result in a hearing. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear whether the center had requested an appeal and hearing, and state officials were unable to clarify the issue.

According to the letters, the childcare center has 30 days to notify the Department of Health and Senior Services that they plan to appeal the revocation.

There was no answer at the Kids Unlimited Childcare Center on Tuesday, and a message left on a cellphone number listed for King was not returned.

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