Day Care Must Correct Violations

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The state found a day care center in the Poconos transported children unsafely, and a witness says it happened dozens of times.

Dekontee Christian Day Care Center near East Stroudsburg now faces a citation. It's the most recent of some serious violations at the center.

The state Office of Child Development and Early Learning says Dekontee Christian Day Care Center in Smithfield Township must come up with a plan to correct its transportation violations.

We spoke the woman who first reported the issue to authorities.

Sharon Wilson spends summer days with her kids at Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. She noticed something that concerned her -- children piled into a vehicle for Dekontee Christian Day Care.

"If she was to get into an accident, there's children in this vehicle that are not being restrained at all," said Wilson.

Wilson says she noticed there were no car seats or booster seats in the SUV, plus she noticed this vehicle only has seven seats and says there were often far more passengers.

"One day she came out, there was 12 kids, two teenagers, and herself in the vehicle and there was no way possible that you could have anybody restrained properly."

Wilson said she saw it happen at least a dozen times. And even though her children have never gone to Dekontee Christian Day Care, Wilson made multiple reports to state and local authorities.

The day care owner refused to go on camera with us but she did talk with us off camera where she insisted that she did have car seats in the vehicle that day in the park. She suggested that perhaps Wilson stole them to make her look bad.

"It is a very ridiculous claim," Wilson responded.

This isn't the first time Dekontee Christian Day Care in Smithfield Township has faced scrutiny.

An inspection report from last August shows the center did not have criminal history records or background clearances for all employees. The report showed that two employees should not have been working in a child care facility.

There were also two instances of inappropriate discipline involving physical punishment.

A state spokesperson was not able to elaborate on specifics.

The state made the owner come up with a plan to train all staff members on proper discipline techniques.

"It infuriates me when I hear or see something that somebody is out actually trying to make a living for their children and think that they're leaving them in a safe environment just to find out that it's not a safe environment," Wilson added.

Day care owner Marion Blount denied all of this. She told us, "this means absolutely nothing to me. No man can take from me what God has given to me. It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass."

Dekontee Christian Day Care received state subsidies for 19 children enrolled there. Last year, that came out to about $107,000.

You can look up state day care inspection reports here.

All concerns about day care should be reported to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s (OCDEL) Northeast Regional Office at 1-800-222-2108.

1 Comment

  • lickerblisters

    Mothers should be home taking care of their children and not working. Families are so materialistic nowadays that two incomes have become a necessary evil. Stop thinking you need two brand new SUVs, the latest flatscreens, the nicest clothes, the newest smart phone, etc etc.

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