Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The state revokes the licenses of 18 Louisville-area child care centers.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services says the actions come in the midst of a year-long investigation into fraud. Officers hand-delivered the notices to 17 of the 18 centers on Wednesday.
In addition, the cabinet has stopped paying what's called "Child Care Assistance" money to those centers.
Letters to each of the 18 centers indicate the investigation, in part, involves altered or falsified documents, including sign-in sheets for children and verification that certain children and their families were eligible for the Child Care Assistance program.
WDRB News found many centers open today, but one was closed.
We talked to several daycare employees this morning. The owner of El Shaddai says she doesn't know why her daycare was targeted. She says the state hasn't told them what they did wrong. She and other owners feel they are being unfairly targeted.
The director of Trina's Treehouse Two says the daycare has already fixed the problem of sign-in sheets.
The centers have twenty days to appeal the revocations.
They do not have to close immediately, though closings are likely.
These are the businesses whose employees signed for the revocation notices upon delivery Wednesday. The state did not identify the 18th center publicly because its notice was to be delivered by mail; it was closed "temporarily" Wednesday.
The child care centers served license revocation notices:
A Alphabet Academy
ABC Village (2 facilities)
Big Happy Family
Lil Kings and Queens (3 facilities)
Small Smiles Day Care
Tyler's Playhouse (2 facilities)
Text of the state's prepared statement released to WDRB:
"The Cabinet for Health and Family Services today began withholding Child Care Assistance payments to 18 child care centers, including 13 child care providers. This action is the result of a yearlong investigation by the Cabinet and its outside partners, and was aided by the Cabinet's ongoing effort to improve the detection of fraud through new and enhanced information technology.
"The OIG will be monitoring these providers to ensure that children attending receive appropriate care, while also making services available to affected families in an effort to mitigate disruption as a result of the investigation.
"The Cabinet continues to take aggressive measures to raise the quality of child care provider operations and to detect and prevent financial fraud and abuse within the child care community. The Cabinet has filed emergency administrative regulations to ensure quality care for children and financial accountability of state and federal funding. Now more than ever, we must ensure provider accountability and integrity in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)."