January 14, 2000                                                                                                      Patricia Harris Morehead at (615) 313-4707

DHS Suspends Child Care License Of Grand Central Station

NASHVILLE Today, the Tennessee Department of Human Services took action against the owner of a Memphis child care center whose son allegedly was involved in counterfeiting activities at the center during its hours of operation. The son, an employee of the center, has not been arrested and charged yet.

Under the new zero-tolerance policy implemented by DHS in October, state officials have decided to suspend the license of Grand Central Station Child Development Center located at 1730 Lamar Avenue in Memphis. The suspension means the center must close immediately and remain closed pending a decision by a hearing officer at a "show-cause" hearing. A hearing has been scheduled for next week (January 24 at 9 a.m.).

"We will continue to use all available enforcement tools to ensure that children are in safe and healthy child care settings in Tennessee. Activities by providers or their staffs that jeopardize the health and safety of children is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," state Human Services Commissioner Natasha Metcalf said.

According to DHS, Grand Central Station has been operating since November 1998. The center is licensed for up to 77 children.

Parents who may need assistance finding other child care for their children are urged to contact the DHS Child Care Resource and Referral Office at 1 (800) 462-8261. If the family participates in the state's child care subsidy program, they should contact the local child care broker agency for assistance with transferring their certificate. That phone number is 1 (901) 367-1479.

Individuals are encouraged to report suspected licensing violations to the local DHS child care licensing staff. Other concerns about child care services or issues should be reported to the local child care ombudsman for each district.

Editor's Note: Attached is a copy of summary suspension order.