Kelly Doe was an in-home daycare provider with an absolutely spotless record with her licensor and DHS for more than six years. But then one of her daycare kids alleged that she hit him during a session with his counselor.
Although the child recanted the allegation the following day, Ms. Doe’s licensing worker and a child protection investigator were relentless. At the end of their investigation, DHS (Grant County) determined that Ms. Doe had committed recurring maltreatment, was disqualified, and an Order revoking her child care license was granted. The County alleged that it had determined that a preponderance of evidence established that Ms. Doe: used a belt to spank a child, used a jump rope to tie children together, placed children in a t-shirt as a form of punishment, tied children’s hands together, grabbed a child by the neck and threw him to the floor, spanked children, threatened children, and made children take timeouts in bedrooms with the door shut and lights turned off.
After a two-day hearing, the Administrative Law Judge determined that DHS failed to prove that the licensor committed maltreatment, and that DHS failed to prove that Ms. Doe committed any of the alleged acts. The Judge was deeply troubled by the investigation, taking the investigators to task for failing to record statements, failing to produce transcripts, and for conducting interviews with children while family members and siblings were in the same room.
The Administrative Law Judge recommended that the Order of Revocation be vacated and that Ms. Doe be allowed to reopen her daycare.