Kiddie Academy of Riverhead closes after license is revoked

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | The Kiddie Academy day care facility in Riverhead has been shut down after being cited for nearly 80 state violations.

Kiddie Academy of Riverhead has had its license suspended after being slapped with 79 violations of state child care law, the News-Review has learned.

The day care center’s violations range from numerous safety and fire hazard infractions to children being left without direct supervision, to not notifying the state that a child with a serious injury of infectious illness was at the facility. The citations also include violating the law which states “Methods of discipline, interaction or toilet training which frighten, demean or humiliate a child are prohibited.”

26 alleged violations were not corrected in the time allotted to address those issues, according to state records.

Kiddie Academy of Riverhead, owned by Krista Donnelly under JJC LI Enterprises, Inc., was visited by state inspectors on Aug. 26, Aug. 15, July 14, June 29, June 17, June 16, June 10 of this year, and Nov. 8, 2010. It was found with code violations on all those visits. The pre-school, located in the Kroemer Avenue complex that also houses Planet Fitness and Saf-T-Swim, was last inspected on Aug. 26 — and shut down.

Though part of a national chain of child care providers, the Riverhead location is independently owned and operated and not affiliated with neighboring Kiddie Academy centers, such as the one in Wading River.

A spokesperson for Kiddie Academy did not return calls seeking comment.

According to a database on the New York State Office of Children and Family Services website, the Riverhead facility was first issued a license in 2006 and has a capacity for 159 children.

A spokesperson for the Office of Children and Family Services, Pat Cantiello, said the proprietors were entitled to a hearing on the accusations, though they had not yet filed a formal appeal.

Ms. Cantiello said in 2006 the current owners took over the facility, which was already being run as a child care center.

The day care center provides programs for infants to school-age children and uses a curriculum called “Life Essentials,” which provides “opportunities for your child to learn, even while he or she is playing.”

“Our Academy will be like a second home for your children because we do everything in our power to ensure that their physical, emotional, social and educational needs are met every day,” Kiddie Academy of Riverhead states on its website. “Our days are filled with enriching activities, exciting learning experiences and wholesome meals and snacks.”
The location has 16 spots for infants, 41 for toddlers, 70 for preschool-age children and 32 for school-age children.

No one answered the phone at the preschool Tuesday and an email sent to the address listed on its website went unreturned.

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