A Parents' Nightmare: Tale of Toddler Losing Fingertip at NY Day Care Reveals Long List of Violations

What to Know

  • A Westchester couple is warning parents to be careful after son’s day care didn’t call for help after his fingertip was severed, report says
  • Kathryn and Jeffrey Blank, from Scarsdale, say they were informed Dec. 11 that a door closed on Max, their toddler’s, finger
  • Blanks say they weren't informed of how bad it was; The Learning Experience is among dozens of day cares with alleged open violations

A Westchester couple is warning other parents to be careful after their son’s Dobbs Ferry day care didn’t call for help after his fingertip was severed, according to published reports.

Kathryn and Jeffrey Blank, from Scarsdale, say they were informed Dec. 11 that a door closed on Max, their toddler’s, finger, but they thought it was a minor injury — that is, until his grandparents went to pick up the youngster and allegedly saw his missing fingertip, The Journal News/ reports.

It was at that point that the grandparents grew frantic and allegedly ran inside the day care to demand the fingertip, which workers had in a paper towel in the office, according to the publication.

Max’s grandfather put the piece of the finger on ice and rushed him to White Plains Hospital, where a surgeon had to reattach the digit.

Jeffrey told The Journal News/ that the day care never told him or Kathryn the severity of the injury “or that his finger had been severed.”

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“What they called an accident to his finger the hospital called a traumatic amputation,” he told the publication.

News 4 reached out to Kathryn and Jeffrey. They did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

In a statement to News 4, the facility, also known as TLE, said: “We take this occurrence very seriously and will do all that is possible to insure the safety and care of our children, staff and that will always remain, our highest priority.”

Currently, the facility remains open as state regulators seek to revoke its license in connection to the Blanks’ complaint, according to The Journal News/lohud.

New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services website shows that TLE is one of three facilities in Westchester that has open violations. Additionally, it is also one of 167 facilities in 27 counties with either open violations or who have had their licenses or registrations revoked or suspended.

Among the violations OCFS found at the day care are improper background checks for staff and volunteers, lack of required training, choking hazards and not immidiately notifying parents of a serious injury, condition, illness or transportation to a hospital.

In their statement, TLE also addresses their alleged violations, saying it is “working closely with state regulators to address the facility’s compliance opportunities and resolve any outstanding concerns. Supervisory staff member has been terminated that had been in charge of day to day operations at the center, and we have put in place executive team members with over 50 years of childcare experience combined.”

According to the OCFS, the facility has a pending revocation status dated Dec. 28, 2018, which means that the child day care program has been notified that OCFS is taking enforcement action and its status will remain as such until a final decision has been reached by an administrative law judge, a court or until the enforcement action has been resolved.

A program may continue to operate while an enforcement action is “pending,” according to OCFS. However, when a program’s status is “suspended” the child day care program has been closed by OCFS due to evidence that the public health or a child’s safety or welfare is in “imminent danger.” A program which has been suspended must immediately stop operating.

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When a program “revoked” it means OCFS took action to rescind the license or registration to operate the child day care program. This action is final and forces the program to no longer operate.

It is unclear how long state regulators will take to address the facility’s compliance. However, overall day care violations are part of a larger concern, Kathryn told The Journal News/

“The fact that people are still sending their children somewhere for what they think is exceptional care, and they have no idea what’s been going on behind the scenes, that’s scary,” she said.

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