Closed Asheboro daycare fell under scrutiny

ASHEBORO – More details have emerged about the closing of an Asheboro daycare.

A string of violations led to Harmony Place shutting its doors in late December.

About a month later, documents regarding the situation at Harmony Place, which has been identified as one of the largest daycares in Randolph County, provided more insight into the situation.

In late August and early September, cases of children being bitten by other children seem to be at the forefront of the case, according to documents released last week.

Much of this stemmed from a Sept. 7 visit from an investigation consultant for the Division of Child Development and Early Education in regard to alleged violations of child care requirements.

According to documents, based on the investigation, the division confirmed sufficient information to determine child maltreatment.

Among the issues was an Aug. 30 incident, based on the investigation, with a 2-year-old child having been bitten by another child. Staff members weren’t aware of the biting incident until they were notified the next day by the bitten child’s parent.

Under the Division’s “Basis for Action” it was determined that staff members’ “failure to provide adequate supervision created an unsafe environment for the children and harm occurred.

On Sept. 1, there were four staff members and 55 children (ages 2-5) on the playground at the same time.

Also, the daycare failed to follow proper procedures to document departure times of children leaving the facility.

Based on the investigation, another incident of alleged biting also took place in early September.

The daycare was required to revise the facility’s outdoor supervision plan to ensure adequate supervision of children and reduce the risk of harm to children.

The daycare, which was located at 312 West Ward St., failed to adhere to its daily activity schedule. That resulted in another violation.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter dated Dec. 8, 2022, to Shepherd’s Way Properties (the former name of the facility) to point out that the Division of Child Development and Early Education was preparing to take administrative action.

Shepherd’s Way had 15 days to respond.

A special provisional license had been issued. It was part of a Corrective Action Plan.

The notice to Shepherd’s Way noted that “further noncompliance may result in an assessment of a civil penalty or an additional administrative action.”

The daycare took in children ranging from infants to school age. At one time, its capacity was listed at 137.

The unexpected closing of the daycare left parents in binds as they tried to arrange for care for their children.

By Randolph Record