Four Kid's Country facilities cited with 'serious' violations Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Jun 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm
An after-school childcare program at San Ramon Valley elementary schools has acquired a recent history of serious "Type A" violations, according to state officials. Four Kid's Country after school programs have been cited for violations that pose a direct and immediate risk to the health or safety of youngsters in their care.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 3, 2011, 12:15 PM
Posted by 5 year KC parent, a member of the Greenbrook Elementary School community, on Jun 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm
My guess is if KC dumped a kid or the parents-it's because the kid/parent was the problem. Kids' Country is an extremely important stakeholder/caretaker in San Ramon Valley. For the 97% of us who have NEVER had a problem with your facility-keep up the good work. For the mistakes that have happened-thank you for letting us know about them and for taking the time to improve your "system" to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Posted by Former KC Parent, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm
KC Parent - are you kidding me!? Blaming the parent/child? Wow. How blind can you be. Sorry, wake up. The citations don't lie. Amazing. No matter how much evidence is shown, you can still try to look the other way, bury your head in the sand and blame the parents. God forbid, a child is harmed one of these days, maybe only then will you see that this organization is to blame.
Posted by GV Parent, a member of the Green Valley Elementary School community, on Jun 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm
The incident regarding Green Valley is inaccurate; it was one child and the parents do not hold KC responsible for what happened 2 years ago and are still KC parents! We were informed immediately of the situation and how it was rectified when it happened 2 years ago and quite honestly, the incident could have happened to any of us parents. I cannot speak of the other situations, but the Green Valley one is being overblown. Our family has been attending KC since 2003 with no issue and very happy kids who love being there...
Posted by Diane, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm
I think it is great that some parents have good experiences at their Kids' Country sites. I hope your children remain safe and that Kids' Country staff respond appropriately to their "fairly serious" violations (as described by a representative of the CDSS - the department charged with ensuring the safety of children at these locations). I would not ignore these charges, however. Nor would I blame the parents (or children - are you kidding me?!) who were the initial whistle blowers regarding the clear safety violations described above. Their efforts may result in a safer environment for your children. You should consider thanking them rather than chastising.
Posted by My Opinion, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm
From what I have seen from experience, KC does have to deal with some problem children. I knew a kid at an elementary school years ago, that would just ditch KC, and walk home without telling anyone. He now goes to school at Venture H.S., after being kicked out of our local traditional high school.
Should not a parent instruct their children not to walk home from KC without informing someone? If the kid ditches the afternoon program, I think it has more to say about the child and the parental situation.
Posted by GV Parent, a member of the Green Valley Elementary School community, on Jun 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Yes, we do feel fortunate that our experience has been positive. However, my chastising has to do with 1. the inaccuracy of the story being reported with regard to our site, and 2. the fact that the tone of the story makes it sounds like our site's incident happened recently, when it in fact happened 2 years ago, as I repeatedly pointed out and 3. the lack of reporting that it had in fact been addressed by the site to all of us parents and the issue had been rectified immediately. At no time have I or any other parent who actually uses the site EVER been contacted by the state agency - even when the incident happened, rather it was KC who made the contact. Since we are the ones that are directly affected by the services provided by KC, shouldn't we have input as to their concerns/issues? While I appreciate that there are agencies who look out for the safety of our children, I would also appreciate direct contact by these agencies before they go to the press. I am the parent of a 13 year old & 8 year old & my children have been in child care since they were toddlers; I would have no qualms about pulling my kids out of any unsafe environment, nor would I have an issue speaking up if I saw anything that I found as being a great concern. Again, I cannot speak for other sites, but our site is safe, loving and a positive environment for our school's children.
Posted by Diane, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm
@GV Parent, again, I am glad your experience is positive. In response to your comment that you wish someone from CDSS would have contacted you or other parents to solicit your opinion/experience, that is not what they do - they are charged with evaluating the specific experience that was reported. They (usually) do look at files kept by the facility. Conversely, if they find no violations upon inspecting, they don't contact parents to solicit complaints either - a pretty fair trade off.
Posted by 4-yr Bollinger Parent, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Jun 6, 2011 at 8:40 am
At Bollinger, the child willfully hid in the play structure after being called to come inside with the others. The staff noticed that he didn't come in, went out and got him in a short period of time, and reported the incident themselves as they are supposed to do whenever a child is out of their supervision. They have taken steps to avoid this happening again. As far as those comments regarding the child/parent responsibility...I think there should be some sort of expectation that the child will follow directions along with all the other children. This is not a preschool, the children are old enough to know better. Yes, there needs to be a high-level of supervision (and I believe that there is), but the parents need to instill in their children the need to follow the rules or they won't have the convenience of on-site day care...and because of their actions, we all may lose out on this convenience, as well.
Posted by retired teacher, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 6, 2011 at 10:17 am
When one works with a group of children, the children are counted throughout the activity. On the playground, going out of the building, coming back into the building, going to and returning from lunch, on field trips, to an from assemblies, etc. This must not have been done at the KC programs involved. My grandchildren attended KC programs for years without incident.
Posted by KC Parent, a member of the Greenbrook Elementary School community, on Jun 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm
Why are my remarks so egregious? The original poster suggested the district dump Kids' Country the way KC dumped them...my experience with KC has been that when kids are removed from KC-it's because the child doesn't follow direction and is disruptive of the supervision process. KC provides a valuable service to many working parents.
Posted by Fern, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Jun 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm
To KC parent above, I respectfully beg your pardon. Have you had a close personal "experience" with your child being put into harm's way and then having KC terminate your contract for being too outspoken?
There may well be children who do not follow the rules and are considered risks and terminated. Our situation was not one of them.
Our 5 year old had a pair of scissors in her face in the hands of another 5 year old with THREE teachers in the room. Six inches of her hair was cut right by her face. It could have been her cheek, her eye, her ear or her lip. None of the teachers saw this child with scissors in her hand coming at our daughter, or her hair being cut.
I'm sorry but there is no excuse or justification for this happening to anyone's child. Ever. This should not even bee a concern for parents who need to work. We just want to send our kids to a place that is safe.
Believe me, I wish we were able to sing the praises of KC and had never had to deal with this situation. But it did happen and we refuse to stay quiet about it.
KC clearly got rid of us because they did not like us sharing our story in a public forum (they told us this although last time I checked we still had freedom of speech?)and did not want to face their staffing issues and lack of supervision head on.
The State found them guilty of this lack of supervision and fined them. It's a real problem and clearly not an isolated case.
We are glad that many families are pleased with their KC experience and we know many of these families ourselves. To this I say, "Good for you!"
More consistent staffing, training and standards coupled with new leadership would be a great start down a more positive path.
Posted by William, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 7, 2011 at 7:13 am
Fascinating topic. As someone who works with kids I do have to comment that so often on our referral sheets for a difficult disruptive child we read that they have been asked to leave pre-schools and child care facilities due to failure to comply with usual requests and often defiance and sometimes overtly aggressive behavior. These kids need to be screened out of programs like KC as they will always pose a danger and difficulty to staff and other kids. KC is not the appropriate location for disruptive behavior disorders.
Posted by member, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:03 am
Readers beware -- I know people who have been contacted by Mr. Erbe -- head of KC -- to come into this forum and write a favorable comment -- maybe those who are being honest and do feel strongly about how things are going at KC should contact their principal and the school board. Erbe is like a wolf among sheep -- I don't think Danville has seen the likes of him -- I hope officials don't take too much more time in figuring out who this guy is ... out children deserve better care.
Posted by Another Parent, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Jun 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Interesting disussion. Obviously, people's experience with Kids' Country is varied. My child goes there and the care has generally been good. The staff is usually good, except when Kids' Country has relied too much on temporary help.
But when mistakes are made, it's the responsibility of Kids' Country's leaders to fix the problems, not ignore them. Or worse, blame the parents.
By the way, I understand that the children who wandered away from the various Kids' Country locations were not disruptive children. They were little kids (first graders) who should have been better supervised. The first time that happened, Kids' Country (Mr. Erbe) should have started a routine of having the staff count the children periodically - as one writer suggested. But, that change wasn't implemented (by my observation) until after several kids had gone missing. That's just bad management, plain and simple.
Posted by Diane, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Just wanted to mention that several times related to this discussion KC supporters have stated that KC reported a questionable situation which resulted in a citation to CDSS themselves. This is considered appropriate protocol. However, reporting the lapse in supervision does not negate the circumstance that occurred. If this were the case, it would be analogous to someone robbing a bank and calling the police to report their crime and then receiving no consequence. In both cases, they are still guilty regardless.
I'm glad my kids are beyond the age to need supervision at home. I truly feel sorry for the parents who have had negative experiences at these programs, and for those who find them beneficial and very much want them to remain. Hopefully this can get resolved in a way that works for all.