A state judge on Monday upheld the closing of two Warner Robins day cares for alleged health and safety violations.
Administrative law judge Steven Teate issued his ruling after hearing state officials argue that problems at the day cares were a matter of life and death for children there.
His order upholds last week's move by the state to close Unique Tutoring Individualized Children Academy locations at 153 Evergreen St. and 1519 Russell Parkway. Lawyers for the company had challenged the closing.
According to Teate's order, the violations included:
On September 27th, a special-needs 4-year-old child left the center unsupervised and walked to a Dollar General Store. The boy had left the center several times before, ending up in the parking lot, which is next to a busy four-lane road, an investigator was told.
The day cares hired a driver with a criminal record without doing a complete criminal background check.
Children were transported without proper documentation, like medical records or emergency-contact info, and without following proper procedures, like using child-safety restraints.
In one case, a van broke down and children spent several hours at a repair shop until the day care managers were notified.
Other violations included numerous health and hygiene violations, including one case where a worker used the same tissue to wipe the noses of two different children, and then did not wash their hands.
State officials argued Monday that the violations represent "imminent danger" to the children's life and safety.
Teate's order closes the two day cares for at least 21 days -- through Christmas Eve.
Both centers are closed Monday. We spoke with the owner of the daycare, who says she has no comment on the matter. Her lawyer has not returned our phonecalls.