Sad topic in the region m
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|Sat, 06-07-2003 - 7:03pm|
I don't want to make this a dc is horrible story-I know good dcs and I think dc can be good for older kids-but these stories keep coming up around here about in home dc's,and the parents always profess complete ignrorance that the dc was illegal,or there were too many kids,etc.She charged $100 a week,and most dcs here chrage $300-400 a week.Reading(and Stoneham) is a a very nice,middle to upper middle class town... do these parents not know it is illegal,do they think $100 is a reasonable amount,or do they not care,or are middle to upper middle people unable to afford more than 100 dollars a week for dc?
If the all the parents who used it are found by DSS to have known it was illeagl,should they face charges?
Saturday, June 7, 2003
Infant dies at 'illegal' day-care center
READING (AP) -- Authorities were investigating the "suspicious" death of an infant who stopped breathing earlier this week at an alleged underground day-care center that officials had already shut down once before.
Three-month old McKenzie Rose Corrigan of Stoneham was pronounced dead Thursday night at Children's Hospital in Boston, the Middlesex County District Attorney's office said. Preliminary autopsy reports did not determine a cause of death but spokesman Seth Horwitz said authorities were treating it as a "suspicious" incident.
Department of Social Services Commissioner Harry Spence said authorities were trying to determine whether the child suffered an "inflicted" injury.
"We got a call that we had a 4-month-old baby not breathing," said Reading Fire Capt. Gordon Sargent. "We got to the house and that's what we found. It's the call that we all dread the most."
A DSS report said that Anne Power of Reading was caring for 13 children, from 3 months to 6 years old, at an illegal day care center run out of her home. Authorities had shut down the operation once before.
Sargent said there were several other children in the house when firefighters arrived.
"The other children we saw were sleeping and there were some out in the back deck area," he said.
A man who opened the door to the Powers home Friday would not talk to reporters.
The Powers' home, at 16 Francis Drive in Reading, had four cars parked under a basketball hoop in its circular driveway late last night. Two more cars sat across the street.
An American flag hangs over the front door of the colonial home, in a cul-de-sac with about 20 homes. Stickers supporting Reading Youth Baseball and the Friends of Reading Hockey are shown in the windows of the front door. A closed-in deck is attached to the rear of the house and the backyard is fenced in.
Power called 911 at 12:39 p.m. Wednesday when she discovered McKenzie wasn't breathing, according to the state report. The infant was covered with a blanket when Power tried to wake her, but was pale and not responsive, the report said.
Power splashed water on McKenzie and performed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before calling 911. Power said she had to call five times before the line was answered, the state report said.
"We found the baby wasn't breathing," Sargent said. "There were no physical signs of abuse that we could see."
Sargent said only a completed autopsy could determine whether or not there was abuse.
"Maybe they found something at the hospital that we didn't," he said.
Spence said DSS was interviewing parents of other children at the facility to see if they were aware of its unlicensed status.
Sargent said firefighters called the hospital to find out the condition of the baby later on, but the hospital refused to tell them because of recent legal changes in patient confidentiality.
"This is not a desperately poor community where you're talking about a single mother working two jobs and can't afford day care," Spence said. "Here you're talking about a reasonably affluent community and apparently people were willing to pay for back-room, cut-rate day care."
Sargent said his department gets many calls for babies choking or having difficulty breathing, "but to go out and actually find a case where the baby is in respiratory arrest is fairly unusual," he said.
Celia Logsdon, of 15 Francis Drive, said she did not know the Powers well, but in her experience they have been good neighbors. Other neighbors who declined to give their names echoed her statements.
The Reading phonebook lists one day-care provider and two nursery schools in town, the Child Care Providers Network and the Humpty Dumpty and the Sawyer nursery schools. Less than three miles away, two child-care centers on Route 28 in North Reading prominently display signs -- Mulberry Child Care and Bright Horizons.
The investigation is being headed by Reading Police Lt. Det. Kevin Patterson, police said. Anyone with information can call the Reading Police at (781) 944-1212.
Staff Writer Charlie Russo contributed to this report.
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