State flagged Spartan Stores YMCA child care before closure

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A YMCA child care center in Wyoming is shutting down after state licensing officials recommended its license be revoked following repeated violations. 

In one case, state regulators said they found a day care worker had sexually abused a child. 

The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids announced Tuesday it will close its infant-to-preschool child care program at its Spartan Stores YMCA on March 29 after "a comprehensive review of the child care program in partnership with state licensing officials."

But Target 8 learned the state previously recommended the center's license be revoked. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs made the recommendation in January after flagging "repeated violations of inappropriate supervision” during multiple inspections.

In November, LARA recommended the center be placed on a second provisional license. The child care facility was already on a first provisional license, which is a probationary period that requires increased monitoring by state regulators, because of previous violations.

24 Hour News 8 has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the state for reports detailing the most recent allegations.

The center has had consistent problems over the last two years. A Target 8 review of state reports shows at least eight violations in that time.

The most concerning allegation came after a special investigation in December 2017 found a male worker had sexually abused a child. It should be noted the state has a lower burden a proof to substantiate claims than criminal prosecutors.

The state said the worker "inappropriately cuddled, held, and kissed the boys in his care, and brought toys from home for certain boys." It also said the worker "exposed his buttocks in the PreK classroom without attempting to adjust his pants." 

The state determined the worker was "not suitable to meet the needs of children."

A spokesman for the YMCA told Target 8 that "Upon notification of an investigation, the employee was immediately suspended and subsequently resigned."

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