Massachusetts Shuts Down Day Care Chain After Neglect Claims

A day care chain in Massachusetts is shutting down after the state found multiple health and safety violations.

Terri's Little Pumpkins looked after more than 200 kids until this week, when it announced it's closing Friday amid claims of neglect.

Earlier this month, the state sent the day care, headquartered in Chelsea, a notice saying it plans to revoke its license due to a host of violations. But there have been problems for years.

"I'm not surprised," said a grandmother named Hope.

Hope's granddaughter goes to the day care, and her daughter is an employee. In recent weeks, she says they've run into problems.

"This day care does not take care of their kids," she said. "Therefore, the parents have to struggle to find another day care for their kids. It's just not right."

She's not alone in that sentiment. The state's Department of Early Education and Care found several violations here recently, including insufficient food and drink for the children, failure to supervise them properly, failure to provide sufficient staff and failure to pay employees on time -- employees say they haven't been paid in a month.

The state sent a notice of earlier claims, as well.

In August of 2012, it was determined that "a child who was transported to and from her child care program at Chelsea TLPs disclosed that she was sexually abused by a TLPs van driver." In June of 2013, according to the state, an 11-month-old child "had been taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a skull fracture ... the fracture occurred while the child attended Chelsea TLPs." A year later, in August of 2014, the state found that a 4-year-old "had been left on a TLPs van."

Attempts by necn to reach the owner at her corporate office in Chelsea were unsuccessfull. She was reached by phone, but she referred necn to her lawyer, who did not return our call. The center operates three other locations in Medford, Revere and Somerville, all of which will be closing Friday.

There were more than 200 kids at these centers. The state says most have been transferred out, but around 30 remain in care.

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