Press-Republican

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August 17, 2013

Doug's Place day-care director removed

SARANAC LAKE — Doug’s Place day-care center here remained open Friday though its director has been removed by state authorities.

An investigation of Rhonda L. Preston is ongoing, according to Office of Children and Family Services spokeswoman Casey McNulty.

Many of the alleged violations named by the state in an online report center around punishment and behavior-management practices.

Via email, McNulty said that, on Aug. 1, “the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) delivered a letter withdrawing its approval of the director of the Lake Placid Community Day Care Center at Doug’s Place ... (and) informed the director that she is to have no child-care role at the center.

“OCFS continues to closely monitor the program for compliance and adherence to all health and safety standards.”

‘SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS’

McNulty provided the Press-Republican with a copy of the letter.

Addressed to Preston, it says Family Services “received a complaint with serious allegations regarding your day-care center on July 17, 2013. The allegations are currently under investigation by the office.”

Inspection records posted on the Family Services website indicate repeated alleged violations to New York Codes, Rules and Regulations pertaining to day-care centers filed under Preston’s license as Lake Placid Community Day Care Center at Doug’s Place.

The inspections noted were conducted in January, February and March of this year, as well as on July 16 and July 18.

Others took place in April and May 2012.

The document notes that inspections were done June 19 and and Aug. 8 but the findings of those were not yet posted.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

A July finding says: “Isolating a child in a closet, darkened area or any area where the child cannot be seen and supervised by a staff member is prohibited.”

Another regulation the Family Services report says Preston broke is one that prohibits corporal punishment.

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