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Arlington daycare accused of neglecting 2 toddlers is now closed pending investigation

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owner of a Jacksonville daycare has apologized and released a statement acknowledging the incident where two children were left alone inside the building by employees.

Sarra Brown is the owner of the now-closed Brown Bear Learning Center in Arlington.

Just a week ago, Danielle Mix said she went to go pick up her sons from the learning center when she found them left inside alone.

Her 3-year-old son had to unlock the door to let her in.

“At Brown Bear Learning Center, the safety and well-being of all children in our care are our top priorities. We deeply regret the incident and understand the concern it may have caused among parents and the community. I want to assure everyone that immediate actions were taken following the incident,” Brown said in response to the incident in a statement sent to News4JAX.

Brown said the daycare is closed after all employees involved in the incident were immediately removed from their work schedules pending a thorough investigation.

“We acknowledge that any period of unsupervised presence is unacceptable, and we are committed to learning from this incident.”

Attorney Randy Reep explained the possible consequences of this situation.

“Let’s say that the police are doing an investigation to see if there was child neglect, they would gather all the evidence that they had, and they would bring it to the State Attorney’s Office, who would then draft an application for an arrest warrant and present it to a judge,” Reep said.

No arrests have been made but it’s still an open investigation.

The owner also said what happened was an isolated accident and none of her employees would ever intentionally harm, neglect or endanger any child.

To read the full statement, see below:

I am writing to address a recent incident at Brown Bear Learning Center #3 , where two children were mistakenly left in our facility by employees. As the owner of the center, I want to clarify that this was an unfortunate accident and not a case of intentional neglect. At Brown Bear Learning Center, the safety and well-being of all children in our care are our top priorities. We deeply regret the incident and understand the concern it may have caused among parents and the community. I want to assure everyone that immediate actions were taken following the incident. All employees involved were immediately removed from their work schedules pending a thorough investigation. Our focus remains on maintaining a safe and nurturing environment, and without reliable staff, we cannot operate our center effectively. I personally, along with my team, have extended sincere apologies to the parents involved. Thankfully, both children were unharmed during the brief time they were unsupervised. While the reported time discrepancy exists, we acknowledge that any period of unsupervised presence is unacceptable, and we are committed to learning from this incident. I want to highlight that Brown Bear Learning Center has been in operation for five years, with multiple locations, and has maintained a record without any accidents, neglect, abuse, or supervision issues. Our employees are trained, certified, and well-versed in DCF regulations and our expectations. Despite this accident, I believe it is essential for the community to recognize the overall positive track record of Brown Bear Learning Center. Our focus has always been on providing a safe, supportive, and enriching environment for children. As a mother of eight children, I deeply understand the responsibility and commitment involved in childcare. I can assure you that neither I nor any of my employees would ever intentionally harm, neglect, or endanger any child. Brown Bear Learning Center has retained legal representation to address any slanderous statements that may arise. This incident has prompted me, as the owner, to reevaluate and revise our protocols, rules, and regulations to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. We are committed to continuous improvement and ensuring the safety of every child entrusted to us. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to maintain the level of care and supervision that we strive to provide to your children. Ensuring their safety and well-being is our top priority, and we believe it is in their best interest to temporarily suspend operations until we can secure reliable and qualified staff. We understand the inconvenience this closure may cause and deeply apologize for any disruption to your routines. Our team is actively working to address the staffing situation, and we will keep you informed about the reopening date as soon as possible. Once again, I extend my heartfelt apologies to the parents affected, and I hope they can understand that this incident was an isolated accident and not indicative of our overall commitment to childcare excellence.

Sarra Brown

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/07/29/arlington-daycare-accused-of-neglecting-2-toddlers-is-now-closed-pending-investigation/ Arlington daycare accused of neglecting 2 toddlers is now closed pending investigation

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