The state Department of Human Services announced Tuesday it had suspended an operating license for a Kailua-Kona daycare after a staff member there threatened a child.
“Due to continuing non-compliance with State Licensing of Group Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes regulatory requirements,” a release stated, the department’s Childcare Licensing Unit suspended the operating license of Kids Play Corner Inc., doing business as Busy Buddies Hawaii, in Kailua-Kona, effective Wednesday, July 3.
“This is the second suspension of the facility’s license this year,” the release stated. “The first occurred in February 2013.”
Busy Buddies Hawaii first came to DHS workers’ attention in March 2009 when a Child Welfare Services investigation confirmed that a staff member had threatened to abuse a child in care at the center. In May 2009, the DHS issued a notice to facility owners directing them to terminate employment of the staff member, who was determined unsuitable to provide child care. The individual was specifically banned from the premises during child care hours and/or when children were present.
Following the February suspension, the DHS Child Program Office offered and Busy Buddies Hawaii entered into a settlement agreement that prohibited the specific individual from stepping onto the property at any time, or directing operations and/or staff.
The July 3 license suspension occurred after the DHS received a complaint that the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement signed with Busy Buddies Hawaii on May 31 had been violated. Busy Buddies Hawaii had been provisionally licensed from June 6 until Sept. 15 for 40 children.
“On July 5, Mr. Hanano hand-delivered a letter to the DHS North Kona office saying he was voluntarily returning his operating license and that effective immediately, Busy Buddies Hawaii will not be operating a Group Child Care Center. The DHS suspension will remain in place until the Child Care Licensing Unit completes its investigation,” the release stated.
Parents may contact the North Kona Child Care Licensing Office at (808) 327-4755 if they have any questions. For parents who need to make alternative child care arrangements, DHS recommends contacting PATCH Hawaii at (808) 322-3500 for a list of child care providers in the area.