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Florida Department of Children and Families orders Jacksonville day care to shut down after child nearly drowns

6:58 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A toddler nearly drowned in a pool at a neighborhood day care center on Tuesday. Now, action is being taken against the day care.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is calling it an accidental injury. A police report said an officer found a 2-year-old boy unconscious after falling into a pool. An officer administered CPR on the child and was taken to the hospital.

"I just feel bad for the parents. That's just terrible," said Jane Mills, the child's neighbor. "Thank God he's alive."

According to police, the incident happened at the Kiddie Heaven daycare on Ireland Road. Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell said the facility is unlicensed.

First Coast News tried to visit the center Wednesday but got no answer.

Someone who answered the phone said "I have nothing to say to you."

Kiddie Heaven's website said "your child's care and happiness are our top priority."

People in the neighborhood were surprised.

Negel Bennett said he had no idea there was a daycare near her. 

Mills, who doesn't know the child, said she hoped something could be done to remedy the situation.

"Well, I hope something happens to wake up the day care center owners to know that they've got to be responsible for these kids."

Harrell said 13 children were enrolled in Kiddie Heaven on a regular basis but not all at the same time.

DCF has issued a cease and desist order and Harrell said that the day care owner has signed it.

Also, Harrell said more than one child is from a non-related family group, meaning the center operated illegally.
If for whatever reason the center continues to take in children, DCF said it will notify JSO. 

First Coast News

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