Virginia seeks to shut down daycare after staff charged with child neglect in 5-month-old baby's death

Mother: 'I don't want any other parents to have to feel the way that I feel. I will never be able to trust dropping my kids off and not in the back of my head feel that something bad can happen.'
Posted at 5:18 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 17:23:22-04

KING GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- "Now enrolling" and "we're hiring" signs are displayed outside C&A Daycare in King George County, as efforts are underway that could force the center to close its doors.

Back on February 21, 2023, Kasey Hamlet and Trevin Wilson's 5-month-old son Maxx died after suffering an emergency at the daycare.

“I hope that they get shut down completely 100%, every age group, until they have no kids in their care," Hamlet, Maxx's mother, told CBS 6 in an interview last month.

Kasey Hamlet and Trevin Wilson
Kasey Hamlet and Trevin Wilson

An investigation by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), which reviewed video footage inside the center the day of Maxx's death, found the facility to be in violation of more than two dozen safety violations.

According to the VDSS report, daycare staff swaddled Maxx, laid him down on his stomach in a crib, put two blankets over top of him including over his head, and did not check on him for more than three hours.

Kasey Hamlet and Trevin Wilson

Local News

Their infant died at daycare. Staff didn't check on child for 3 hours.

Tyler Layne
11:43 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Once staff did check on Maxx, his body was limp and cold. The child was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner's office ruled Maxx's cause of death complications from COVID-19 and adenovirus.

Court records showed two employees, Tiffany Roy and Arlene Blanchard, have since been indicted on felony child neglect charges in connection to the King George Sheriff's Office's infant death investigation.

Maxx Wilson

While the center has voluntarily suspended its infant care operations, it is still actively serving other age groups.

According to an unannounced VDSS inspection on August 7, 48 children, from 16 months to 10-years-old, were present at the daycare

“I agree with shutting it down. Honestly, it should’ve been shut down months ago," Wilson, Maxx's father, told CBS 6 in a previous interview.

Now, that may happen.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the state agency which oversees and licenses childcare providers, said it filed a notice of intent to revoke C&A's license on July 26. The decision, according to VDOE, followed a multi-step legal review and investigation of the circumstances surrounding Maxx's death.

"This process typically involves multiple in-person visits to a site to gather all available information about the incident. The VDOE then takes action depending on what the situation warrants," VDOE said in an email to CBS 6.

The VDOE can attempt to revoke a license if a program fails to comply licensing regulations and requirements or when conditions exist that pose an immediate and substantial threat to the health, safety, and welfare of children.

C&A Daycare in King George County
C&A Daycare

C&A Daycare is appealing the revocation of its license, according to VDOE, and will be given a fair hearing to argue its case to remain open.

Another parent who spoke to CBS 6 anonymously, and whose infant was at the daycare the day Maxx died, said her trust has been broken with the center.

She said she did not find out that the daycare was under investigation until July, several months after the child fatality.

“None of that was communicated with the parents whatsoever," she said.

Maxx Wilson
Maxx Wilson

The mother said she was "happy" to hear the state is taking steps to close down the facility and hopes the Commonwealth is successful in its effort.

“Because I don't want any other parents to have to feel the way that I feel. I will never be able to trust dropping my kids off and not in the back of my head feel that something bad can happen," she said. "We are our children's advocates, and you have to advocate for your children."

CBS 6 reached out to C&A Daycare for a response to the state seeking to revoke its license. A manager said she could not comment but said her lawyer may be reaching out. We are still waiting to hear back and will update this story once we do.

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