State Senator pushes for restaurant-style grading system for day cares

NEW YORK CITY -- State Senator Jeff Klein says it is time for parents to know the hidden dangers in some day cares.

The Senator out of the Bronx and Westchester County says it's time for Governor to sign legislation that will put his concept modeled after the culinary industry into play.

"A report card for actual day care centers to have posted right in front of their day care center, to let parents know how good or how bad their local day care is," Klein said.

Senator Klein made the announcement Thursday afternoon at a news conference in Lower Manhattan.

Klein who represents areas in the Bronx and Westchester County unveiled a list of the 10 worst day cares according to official violations accumulated from October 2015 through October 2016.

The violations were produced for a variety of non-compliant shortcomings according to Klein, "Things like a failure of the employees to have a proper criminal background check, toxic materials to clean the floors a very poor teacher to child ratio which causes a lack of supervision, many, many problems."

Klein and his team even highlighted undercover video of a few centers misleading potential parents about their facilities.

According to Senator Klein, the day care with the most violations, 74 in all including 12 listed as public health hazards, is My Little Language School or Mi Pequenita Escuelita housed on the second floor of St. Michael's Episcopal Church on West 99th Street in Manhattan.

The church would not comment on the day care but it is important to note they are a tenant of the church and not affiliated with them, according to the church.

An attorney for the school sent out a late afternoon statement which read in part, "My Little Language School disputes entirely the characterizations made today by Senator Jeffrey Klein, his reporting was based on false and faulty information. This is clearly a blatant attempt to further smear the name and reputation of My Little Language School to affect the outcome of litigation against New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings."

A spokeswoman for Senator Klein responded with the following, "Our report reflects the City's publicly available data. Our position on this issue is that parents deserve maximum transparency when making decisions regarding the health and safety of their children. This illustrates why we need a report card at the door. Parents need to know if a day care was suspended and why, and furthermore how many violations a day care accumulated over a period of time so that they can make a judgement on their own. We have supported and continue to support open and accurate information about the compliance history of all City and state day cares."

Overall, Senator Klein says that as some day cares portray themselves as place where children can blossom, he says there are many with a long history of poor performance.

Adding those that consistently have a bad track record should be forced out of business, "I think we need more of a three strikes your out. If you have hazardous violations three consecutive times, you should be shut down and lose your license."