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Kids' Country - Coyote Creek San Ramon - Cited for Lack of Supervision

Original post made by Outspoken Parent, San Ramon, on May 27, 2011

After serious debate on the Danville Express site, and after months of battling and investigations, I wanted all parents in the area to be aware that Kids'Country in San Ramon was cited with a level A violation by the state licensing board of California for lack of supervision. Public record, feel free to contact the Community Care Licensing Division for verification. It may be easier to use Kids' Country because your child goes to Coyote Creek, just be aware of the violation and their complete lack of caring or customer service to their parents.

Comments (16)

Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Jun 1, 2011 at 7:15 am

When is SRVUSD going to wake up and cancel their contract with the *worst* day care provider possible. This particular violation wasn't at my school. But my kids no longer can use Kids Country at our school because of one horrible incident after the other. Not to mention a constant revolving door of substandard staff (mostly temps). The teachers and principals take the position that once the bell rings and school is adjourned than it's not their problem. "And there is nothing they can do". Contrary to some misnorms, many children who attend SRVUSD have two working parents and competent afterschool care is vital to working families and the health and welfare of the children. WAKE UP SRVUSD!

Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Danville
on Jun 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

Wake up parents!!! When are you going to realize that it's not the schools responsibility to raise your kids! It is their responsibility during school hours to secure a safe learning environment, but because so many parents work to keep the high standard life style they are so used to, the school is not responsible to watch your kids! Be lucky that so many schools have an after school facility, but don't blame the school for problems. Get involved yourself!!!

Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Danville
on Jun 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

This comment is totally out of line and off topic. The school is not responsible for afterschool care, but the school district does award a contract to an afterschool care provider. To insinuate that working parents who use these services "aren't involved" or "not responsible" for raising their children is offensive. The parents pay for these services, $15 per hour per child. The article states that a State Citation (Level A) was issued for lack of supervision at a paid after school facility. This comment above implies that there should be no afterschool care facilities or a State Licensing agency that supervises them because "so many parents work to keep the high standard lifestyle". Give me a break.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jun 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm

@Danville Mom and Concerned Parent (#2) - thank you! Blaming parents that utilize a program sanctioned by SRVUSD for enrolling their kids in the program when it doesn't meet basic requirements is ridiculous! The school district is responsible for sanctioning/contracting with the organization and if they fail to meet the safety needs of the students, they should rethink this contract.

@CParent (#1) - I have a neighbor that has her two kids at Kids' Country. She is a working single parent (widow) who made the decision to move here because the community she lived in previously had such high crime - the compromise was to work full time rather than just when her kids were in school. I think she made a sound decision, and her kids deserve to be safe in their afterschool program. Your peception that parents here sacrifice their children so they can live an opulent lifestyle is insulting.

Posted by Allison
a resident of Green Valley Elementary School
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Green Valley Kids' Country has done a fabulous turn around. Sounds like someone does't really know what is going on at Kids' Country. I have two chlidren who love being at Kids' Country. I know they are safe and happy.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jun 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Allison, a level "A" violation is the most serious that Community Care Licensing assigns, indicating an immediate risk to health, safety or personal rights of the children. The staff at CCL are charged with evaluating the quality of care of hundreds of care environments, and don't take their jobs lightly. For this level of violation, something must have been very wrong.

Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

The care and staff of each KC varies drastically as evidenced by the Green Valley mom above. At the same point, shouldn't we all have the right to have our children cared for in a consistently safe environment?

A level A violation is indeed serious and a child was indeed put into harm's way. MY child. I refuse to sit idly by about this issue.

I shared the very real story in this very community after it happened in February. Our child had scissors an inch from her face and her hair cut by another child in an instant with 3 teachers in the room.

The sharing of that story on this very community directly resulted in KC terminating our contract. Our child is now in a safer, more professional aftercare with more experienced, tenured teachers and we are grateful.

It is indeed a shame that so many parents feel pressure to take advantage of the onsite child care because it's so much of a hassle to try to use a provider off-site. At the same time, these facilities need to be held accountable for their lack of supervision and allowing children to be put into harm's way.

Perhaps this violation and resulting fine will serve as a wake up call.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2011 at 9:51 am

Outspoken, sounds like you now have your daughter in a better setting, and that's great! I think the fact that SRVUSD has a contract with Kids' Country gives the (apparently mistaken) impression that all KC locations provide appropriate and safe levels of care and supervision.

Frankly, they are lucky if you don't decide to file suit - if they indeed terminated your contract for sharing your concerns on this forum, that may well be (legally) actionable.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thank you, Outspoken, for raising this issue here.

You are not alone. When another Kids' Country location was cited last year for allowing a child to wander away (all the way home, fortunately), Kids' Country terminated that family's contract (blaming the child), rather than accepting resonsibility for its own error.

For those who aren't familiar with the regulatory process at the Community Care Licensing Division, a Class A violation is one step short of closing a facility. There have been a number of violations at Kids' Country facilities over the past couple of years. The issuance of a citation for a Class A violation means that one more violation would likely result in the revocation of the license for one or more locations of Kids' Country.

And what then? Parents who use the services of Kids' Country at that school (or perhaps more than one school) would be left without an after-school care option for their children. And the School District would have to scramble to find an alternative quickly (The Growing Room, perhaps).

The seriousness of this situation cannot be stated strongly enough. And the responsibility for allowing this to happen (and not informing the parents/customers) falls squarely on Kids' Country's Executive Director, Chris Erbe, and on the President of its Board of Directors, Loucy De'Atley.

Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

Thanks Dave and Diane for your comments. We appreciate them. It was Chris Erbe's decision to terminate our contract. (He felt we would be happier elsewhere and that they could not make us (my husband and I)happy.

We were frankly appalled at the complete disregard for our child's safety and well being. He never once acknowledged her or what happened to her, and even went so far as to avoid speaking her name during our 30 minute face to face meeting. The site director said not a word the entire time. We were blown away at the attitude of indifference and disgust (for us!).

A child's safety is every parent's first priority. We should never have to choose between safety and convenience. It should be a no-brainer. Apparently not for this organization.

No one wanted to hear anything we had to say about any of our concerns over the 5+ months we were using KC. All we received was lack of follow up, curt, short, rude responses and attitude. The Growing Room would be a blessing for all parents and children based on what we know about them now.

Our wish is that SRVUSD says bye bye to KC forever.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

People may wonder why the Kids' Country Board of Directors has not been more diligent in addressing the problem of violations.

Chris Erbe (Exec. Dir.) initially hid the issue from the Board as a whole and then minimized it (while blaming other for the problem). Then, as the Board gradually became aware of the extent of this problem (and other significant problems) and tried to address it, the two long-standing Board members, Loucy De'Atley and Bill Miller, engineered a coup right before a Board meeting this spring. They ousted the two Board members who had insisted on better management practices. And two other Board members who had also supported better management practices resigned in protest. De'Atley and Miller then immediately replaced these four with two new members who would be in their pocket and would be unaware of the history of violations.

Mr. Miller and Ms. De'Atley have essentially run Kids' Country like their own private fiefdom for about 10 years. The two of them have alternated in the role of President of the Board for that entire time. Conveniently, they operated without any By-Laws until last year! They disband any Board committee that does not bend to their wishes (or take away their responsibilities). And they disregard the rules spelled out in the By-Laws whenever it is convenient for getting their way (calling ad hoc Board elections without proper notice, etc.).

The bottom line is that it's a shame that the management of Kids' Country is operated so poorly. There are some very good and caring workers there. But, the management practices leave a lot to be desired. And the domination of the Board by two incompetent individuals prevents real improvement, because they block any attempt at effective oversight.

The parents pay a lot of money for Kids' Country's services. The parents and the kids depend on it being run well. But, they are not being served very well.

It's time for the parents and the School District to demand better.

Posted by Kids Country Fan
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Jun 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Kids Country at Vista Grande was excellent for our child, and very well run, with caring staff members. Having child care right at the school, without having to get on a bus or other transport, was a great advantage to other potential after school programs. It sounds like each Kids Country varies greatly, and the Kids Country at Vista Grande was outstanding!

Posted by Keeping Perspective
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 6, 2011 at 8:42 am

After reading all the comments, Dr. Phil's statement comes to mind.
He reminds us that no matter how flat a pancake, there are still two sides.

Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Coyote Creek Type A Violation for Lack of Supervision:
Web Link
How many more violations like this are there in KC's closet?

Is there even an acceptable number? How about NONE?

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Because of a "haircut" give me a break!! That happens often with kids. Let me guess only child?
This is what our state considers putting kids in danger? Losing kids I get but because of a haircut? That doesn't add up... Hair grows back get over it! The parents whose kids were lost, how do they feel about KC?

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Tassajara Hills Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

I heard that a "committee" selected Kids Country to throw The Growing Room out of several schools this week. I don't believe for a second that a "committee" of parents would chose a program with a record of violations, poor care and management to oust a great program like The Growing Room. Something doesn't smell right. Does anyone out there know what is really going on with Kids Country and the district? Why do they want Kid's Country to have a monopoly? I would have expected the results of the contract renewals to be completely different if they really cared about the students.

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