Sulphur daycare owner fights license revocation

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Earlier this week, the Department of Social Services revoked the license of God's Little Blessings Daycare in Sulphur.

"I love what I do, I love working with children," says Natesha Clophus, owner of the daycare. "This is my business, God brought me here to do this."

But Monday's letter from DSS changed everything for Clophus.

"They make it seem like I'm a criminal, and I'm not," says Clophus.

DSS is revoking Clophus' license for 15 different violations not in compliance with the Child Day Care Center Class A Minimum Standards.

"These kids aren't in any harm," says Clophus. "Most of the stuff deals with paperwork not being right."

DSS says they don't take any citations lightly, even if it's failing to keep attendance.

"All of these citations play into making sure that children are safe," says Trey Williams, Communications Director for the Louisiana Department of Social Services. "While something might seem not that serious such as keeping attendance records, it's actually very important that all the children are accounted for at the daycare center."

God's Little Blessings Daycare has been cited for safety hazards on six different occasions.

"If we see a pattern of violations occurring with no efforts to correct them, then we have a responsibility to make sure that these centers are safe," says Williams. "If they're not safe, then they should not be responsible for keeping kids."

Clophus argues that the violation is not reoccurring.

"I've been cited six times, but it has been for different things," says Clophus. "Like the cords on my blinds, they never said anything about that before and this last time they come out and say it is a hazard."

DSS also says it is a hazard to have spider webs on the playground.

"They expect me to come out here everyday and check every corner of the tree house and make sure there's no spider web," says Clophus. "That's nature but I get written up for it."

Clophus says that the revoking of her license will not only affect her financially, but it will also leave the 25 children enrolled with nowhere else to go.

"I've been having kids come here for 2 years who have been coming since birth," says Clophus. "Now I'm supposed to tell them that they have to bring their kids somewhere else just because my blinds?"

Clophus plans to appeal the state's decision in an effort to keep her job and her kids.

"They need to be clear on their rules," says Clophus. "Instead of having to hurt daycares, they need to start helping us. They need to think about that before they start shutting daycares down."

If you would like to know how safe you child's daycare is, click on "DSS Inspection Reports" to the right.

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