Lawrence Police discovered an illegal daycare
By Dalia Diaz
The present situation with the coronavirus is creating havoc for families unable to take paid time off from their jobs and there does not seem to be a remedy shortly. So, many are depending on relatives to care for their children now that schools and daycare facilities are not open.
That was the case on August 12 when a father went to pick up his three daughters at a daycare located on the third floor at 96 Bromfield St. It was 12:30 in the afternoon when he entered the apartment and saw a large number of children and smelled feces in the room where one of his daughters was.
The girls’ father noticed that there were no preventive measures or social distancing and there was only one woman in charge of the children. Then, he called the police although he didn’t know the name of the daycare or the woman he met there.
Officer Carmichael and Officer Coss arrived at the third-floor apartment to verify the conditions and they found “two infants in a cradle on the kitchen floor and numerous children walking around the apartment in different rooms,” according to the police report.
In one room there were 14 children watching TV; in total, there were 25 children in different rooms and they appeared to be in good condition.
When Officer Carmichael asked the woman for the name of her daycare and she denied having one. She claimed that “she was just taking care of a few kids who have parents that run errands and work,” wrote Officer Carmichael on the report.
When asked if she was receiving money, she responded that she is so the Officer told her that she was running an illegal daycare.
At that point, he requested the presence of a supervisor. When Sargent Picard arrived, she ordered the daycare shut down. They contacted the Department of Children and Families as well as Inspectional Services to conduct an investigation.
In the absence of a roster with contact information, the police officers had to identify all the children and call their parents to come and pick them up. When the parents of the last two children could not be contacted, they were transported by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital, and Officer Coss was assigned to watch them along with social workers from DCF until their mother came to claim them.
The woman operating the daycare will be summoned to court for operating an illegal daycare. DCF and Inspectional Services continue to investigate the matter.
The police report omitted the names pending the establishment of probable cause at a Clerk of Courts hearing.