A second mother comes forward with child care center safety concerns

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A second mother comes forward with child care center safety concerns

CREATED Sep 25, 2012 - UPDATED: Sep 26, 2012

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A second mother has come forward with another safety complaint regarding the Mini-Skool Early Learning Centers on Limberlost Drive.

April Eppler said back in May, she decided to take her two children out of the center because of safety concerns involving her three-year-old son.

"I would never have my children go back to a school like that, didn't trust it at all, never brought them back after the incident happened," Eppler said.

The Arizona Department of Health dismissed Eppler's complaint because of lack of evidence so 9OYS will not go into the accusations.

9OYS wanted to know if this center had any safety citations. As it turns out, the center has received more than 70 citations since 2010.

During the state's last health inspection in May, the center was issued 24 citations.

Among them, failure to ensure staff and children ratios are maintained; failure to document kids during a field trip and failure to sign kids in and out by their parents or guardian.

Colby Bower with the state's licensing services department spoke to 9OYS by phone and explained the citations.

"Well what we like to focus on is health or safety, while attendance records can be a health or safety issue, sometimes it's simply a paperwork issue," Bower said.

9OYS wanted to know if the 70 citations issued in two years were unusual.

"We try to bring facilities up to speed, what we do if we can't bring them up to speed. We do have the option of placing a facility like that on what's called a provisional license that subjects them to more inspections," Bower said.

9OYS also talked to Dennis Vicars with the Phoenix Children's Academy, who runs the school.

"We took two or three days to do a full investigation which I always, don't want to go on speculation, especially when you're dealing with employment of one person who's not longer with us who we felt the investigation showed did not live up to our standards," Vicars said.

The health department is waiting on a complete police report to determine whether or not it will issue a citation in the case of the two-year-old who wandered away from the center.