YMCA daycare appealing licensing issues

JOHNSTOWN — More details are being released by the state related to what it calls the “pending revocation” of the Fulton County YMCA Playmates Day Care license.

In a recent interview, YMCA CEO Christopher Defibaugh said his facility is legally fighting the revocation. The daycare was in operation with 40 children before the entire 213 Harrison St. YMCA was shut down recently, along with other fitness facilities due to the coronavirus breakout.

“Safety is always one of our top priorities,” Defibaugh said.

He declined to discuss what he called an “incident” that precipitated the possible revocation, but the Y is appealing.

The state Office of Children & Family Services, which licenses daycares across New York, has not yet responded to The Leader-Herald about several questions put to it this week regarding the Playmates Day Care. But the state agency’s website recently posted further information about the pending revocation.

It says the Fulton County YMCA Day Care was the subject of a March 5 inspection and about 10 violations the facility was cited for in March and February remain “not corrected.”

The YMCA day care was first licensed at Harrison Street on Aug. 22, 2008. It’s current registration period runs from Aug. 22, 2018 to Aug. 21, 2022.

Among the areas listed for the citations “not corrected” yet were:

“No child can be released from the child day care center to any person other than his or her parent, person currently designated in writing by such parent to receive the child or another person authorized by law to take custody of a child.” That citation was March 5.

On March 2, the YMCA Day Care was cited with three other violations. They included one for cleaning materials not stored in their original container. Another citation related to medication given on a long-term basis, and authorization forms and consent forms not being authorized every six months. Another citation related to maintaining certain day care records.

The YMCA was also hit with several other citations by OCFS on Feb. 25, including one that indicated “suitable precautions” must be taken to eliminate safety and health hazards.

“Children cannot be left without competent supervision at any time,” one citation read.

Another refers to staff needing “acceptable techniques and approaches” to help children with problem solving. The child care staff must personally make immediate reports to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse by phone and follow up with a written report with 24 hours on an incident, a citation said.

The OCFS website indicates the YMCA day care had been cited in the past — prior to February — but those were deemed corrected.


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