Daycare where infant died had multiple violations over several years

Daycare where infant died had multiple violations over several years

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - What do you know about your daycare? Did you know thousands of disciplinary records about day cares are available for free at your fingertips?

Last November, WBTV investigated the case of Logan Bryant. He was just four months old, and he died while in the care of Chesterbrook Academy off Mallard Creek Road in north Charlotte. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the official cause of death.

His parents have always questioned that ruling, especially since his autopsy says paramedics discovered Logan on his stomach, a direct violation of North Carolina law. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the district attorney's office is involved.

Just three months after our original report, it turns out Logan's daycare was in trouble long before Logan came through the front door.

WBTV combed through pages of North Carolina Health and Human Services (DHHS) records about Chesterbrook Academy. WBTV found several red flags parents should see.

"You go to work that morning and the whole day you are there and have no idea something bad is happening to your son. I was really shocked," said Logan's dad, T.J. Bryant.

WBTV found multiple violations since the daycare opened in 1997.

The report says "On three separate occasions in the summer of 2012, staff members engaged in verbal altercations with each other in front of the children."

Perhaps more serious, on October 15, 2012, DHHS cited the daycare because a one-year-old was left "unsupervised in the classroom while the remainder of the class was outside on the playground"

On June 11, just a day after Logan died, DHHS cited the facility because a teacher fell asleep while five infants were in her care. A report by the department says "Children were not adequately supervised" and a child was "neglected while in care"

The DHHS report goes on to say, "A staff member placed an infant in a crib that was not assigned to that infant"

Another violation illustrates that, "A child was handled roughly. A staff member picked up an infant by one arm to remove the child from the crib.  The staff member roughly placed another child in stationary play equipment."

The report also says staff did not follow the safe sleep policy. "A staff member failed to visually check on a sleeping infant for one hour"

WBTV obtained emergency room notes from Logan's parents. They're from the night he died, and reveal that paramedics discovered Logan face down with a cloth over his head.

"He's not supposed to have anything in the crib," Bryant said.

Dr. Scott Spies is a pediatrician in Charlotte and was surprised when we showed him the emergency room notes.

"The standard of care in the United States would be to never put a baby on their stomach," Spies said.

Logan died on June 10, and the state placed Chesterbrook Academy on a probationary license for one year beginning on November 22, the same day WBTV's aired the first investigation.

DHHS says the date is a coincidence, and as part of Chesterbrook's probation, inspectors will visit the academy more frequently.

No criminal charges have been filed against Chesterbrook, or against the employee in charge of watching Logan.  However, Mecklenburg County health officials placed her on a Responsible Individual List, meaning the county considers her responsible for abuse or serious neglect in this case.

Since our story aired on Tuesday night, Chesterbrook Academy confirms to WBTV that the caregiver is no longer employed.

"You want to know what happened to your son. You want to know what exactly they did that was wrong. I don't even know how to explain it. I feel like I have to know," Bryant said.

Police have a video tape of the incident but won't release it, citing an open investigation.

How do you check a daycare to make sure your child is going to the best place possible? Click here to find out.

A spokeswoman for Chesterbrook Academy's corporate office released this statement to WBTV:

"Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts continue to remain with the family since the tragic loss of one of our children in June. The safety and well-being of our children are our highest priorities, and we take very seriously our obligation to comply with all childcare licensing regulations as outlined by the state of North Carolina."

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