Children injured and forgotten; here’s how you can find St. Louis daycare violations | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Chris Hayes, Kevin S. Held, and Joe Millitzer

ST. LOUIS – Dozens of daycares have recently been cited for everything from losing children, to threatening them with violence. FOX 2 has compiled the childcare violation reports and plotted them on a searchable map.

The Missouri Office of Childhood, under the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, generates detailed violation reports if an inspector substantiates a complaint. This report, along with our searchable database, is based on those substantiated ‘Complaint Investigation’ reports. We requested all such reports completed in 2023.

One report notes a February complaint at the Clayton Early Childhood Center – in which a “citizen found a 5-year-old unattended…outside at the (next door park) for 30 minutes.”

State inspectors “substantiated” the complaint, which was noted to be corrected in March, with meetings and training.

At a Lake St. Louis church operated Bridge Kidz Academy in January, state inspectors “substantiated” a complaint that a “2-year-old was on the parking lot” for a couple of minutes until a “UPS driver noticed him.” The church’s pastor told FOX 2 they’re thankful for the child’s safety and that they immediately fixed a broken fence that the child had breached.

Attorney Chris Finney is handling a case on the list involving an injury.

“When you hear about it, it’s one thing; when you see it, it’s another,” he said.

Finney is suing Lily Pad Learning Center in Hazelwood over a January “substantiated” complaint in which a teacher was captured on camera, “…berating the child for not eating their food,” he said, adding, “…and the worker takes the food and shoves it down her throat. The child starts to aspirate, starts to cough and she smooshes it all around in her face.”

The former teacher now faces a felony child abuse charge.

“There are other employees that witnessed this. No one decided to step in,” Finney said.

In January, at Little Steps Preschool in Florissant, state inspectors “substantiated” a complaint that a “staff member told a child she would break all of his fingers.” The report says the issue was “corrected April 27” with teacher training.

In west St. Louis County at Cadence Academy in April, state inspectors say they received a “complaint” that “staff lost a parent’s child along with four others.” The state said it “substantiated” the allegation – that the children were found in a staff break room and the investigative report notes the center is currently working on “corrective measures.”

“Look what they did to course correct it and how they responded to it,” said Robin Phillips, CEO of Child Care Aware, an organization that helps parents find the right childcare center. “That says a lot about how a program tried to get back on track and stay on track.”

How a facility answers parents about such incidents is important.

“It should be a partnership between the childcare program and the family,” she said.

Finney says there are great facilities, even though he makes a living out of suing them.

“His is not the norm,” Finney said, “…from what we’ve seen. We see very dedicated people who are working very hard to take care of children.”

We have mapped all the centers cited. You’ll see they’re everywhere – in the city and surrounding counties – as well as in places both rich and poor. You’ll be able to pull up the complete inspection report that sometimes includes detailed teacher and even child interviews.

You can also find Child Care Aware’s parent tip sheet and checklist here.

You can also check the inspection history of any child care facility on Missouri’s search portal here.

Facility Name Address Description
ABC Kids Learning Center 429 Main St. Pevely Mo. 63070-3309 4-year-old child left unattended on playground
Visions Academy LLC 4770 State Road B Hillsboro Mo 63050-4729 Children not being changed; bleeding diaper rash
Westbrook Academy Child Care & Learning Center, LLC 4045 Jeffco Blvd Arnold Mo 63010-4213 Staff member not fingerprinted or background checked
Fun, 2, 3 Childcare – Arnold, Inc. 17 Municipal Dr Arnold Mo 63010-1012 Child left on playground unsupervised
Kidsplay, LLC 2949 Highway K O Fallon Mo 63368-7862 Air conditioning issue
Little Learners of O’Fallon LLC 1031 Bryan Rd O Fallon Mo 63366-3457 3-year-old with scratch marks on his side
Step by Step Learning Center LLC 5285 Highway N Ste 107 Cottleville Mo 63304-7733 Using a recalled bobby lounger
Tendercare Learning Center #11 4778 Central School Rd St Charles Mo 63304 Rough treatment of 3-year-old & 16-month-old
Tyke Town 8368 Mexico Rd St Peters Mo 63376-1106 Staff/child ratio problem
Tyke Town 8368 Mexico Rd St Peters Mo 63376-1106 Staff/child ratio problem
Tyke Town 8368 Mexico Rd St Peters Mo 63376-1106 Children under 1 put to sleep in swing and left
Cadence Academy Preschool, Beagle 13444 Beagle Ln St Louis Mo 63141-6056 Staff lost track of 5 children
Cameron’s Cottage 733 Dunn Rd Hazelwood Mo 63042-1740 Staff member slapped & pinched 4-year-old
Clayton Early Childhood Center 1 Oak Knoll Park Clayton Mo 63105-3009 5-year-old left unattended outside; returned by citizen
Fun, 2, 3 Childcare – Sunset Hills, Inc. 4320 S Lindbergh Blvd St Louis Mo 63127-1645 Teachers walked out leaving 1 teacher with 13 children
Future Foundations Child Care and Preschool 930 Kehrs Mill Rd Ste 220 Ballwin Mo 63011-2403 2-year-old with severe milk allergy given M&M
Kindercare Education LLC 497 Big Bend Ballwin Mo 63021 Staff member slapped 16-month-old child’s hand
La Petite Academy, Inc. 12836 Tesson Ferry Rd St Louis Mo 63128 Bathroom with potent urine smell
Lil Smarties Learning Center, Inc 7330 Olive Blvd St Louis Mo 63130-1701 Contractor was a convicted felon
Lily Pad Learning Center 453 Candle Light Ln Hazelwood Mo 63042-1901 Child force-fed to the point of gagging/vomiting
Little Steps Preschool and Learning Center 3,LLC 2154 North Waterford Drive Florissant Mo 63033 Staff member told child she will break all of his fingers
Smart Start Learning Academy LLC 6523 Olive Blvd St Louis Mo 63130-2643 Report not yet available
Williams Academy LLC 6814 Natural Bridge Rd St Louis Mo 63121-5315 3-year-old head injury & 9-year-old not properly supervised
Spann-Baker, Pamela Maria 3828 Windemer Dr Florissant Mo 63033-4050 Electricity scheduled to be disconnected for nonpayment
Chloe’s Playhouse LLC 12550 Missouri Bottom Rd Hazelwood Mo 63042-1516 Report not yet available
Ethan’s Corner LLC 3809 Louisiana Ave St Louis Mo 63118-4225 Report not yet available
Hardknocks Nursery & Education Center LLC 2626 Union Blvd St Louis Mo 63113-1002 4-year-old and 21-month-old dropped off to unauthorized individual
Hilltop Child Development Center 6155 W Florissant Ave St Louis Mo 63136-4941 Staff member hit 2-year-old with plastic spoon
Our Time to Grow Learning Center 3901 Washington Blvd St Louis Mo 63108-3507 Infants eat in preschool room
Our Time to Grow Learning Center 3901 Washington Blvd St Louis Mo 63108-3507 Staff member left nail marks on 4-year-old’s arm
Southside Early Childhood Center 3740 Marine Ave St Louis Mo 63118-4175 Mice infestation
The Guardian Angel Settlement Association 1127 N Vandeventer Ave St Louis Mo 63113-3427 4-year-old, broken arm, parents not properly notified
Bridge Kidz Academy 8676 Orf Rd Lake St Louis Mo 63367-4286 Child alone on opposite side of playground fence


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