CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A south Charlotte day care is now the target of a police investigation for dozens of violations that have been investigated by the state.
The Gateway Academy is giving parents a tour of their day care and after school in a YouTube video, calling the school the best child care in Charlotte.
But the school has been put on notice by the Department of Health and Human Services, now catching the attention of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. Investigators say they received two reports of incidents at the school in April, one involving a parent claiming that her child was inappropriately touched by another child. The other, a closed non-criminal simple assault.
The day care is not giving specifics about what the police investigation entails, but administrators at the school released a statement, and say they are aware of an allegation made a number of weeks ago. They say a teacher did not follow their protocol while supervising a child.
School officials say they launched an investigation of their own and notified DHHS. They also so the teacher involved no longer works at Gateway Academy.
"We are aware of an allegation that a number of weeks ago, a teacher did not follow our protocol while supervising a child. Upon becoming aware of this alleged incident, we immediately launched an internal investigation and notified DHHS. While it would not be appropriate to comment further while the investigation remains open, we can confirm that the teacher involved is no longer employed by Gateway Academy and that Gateway Academy is not a part of any legal action related to this alleged incident."
In February, the school received a letter, notifying administrators that they were issued a provisional license — the only day care in Mecklenburg County to have this status, according to state officials. Gateway had 52 violations of child care requirements observed during five visits, including 21 repeat violations, ranging from criminal record checks to safety and nutrition, according to the notice.
The list of violations is long and Gateway failed to make the grade to meet minimum requirements.
According to the notice — failure to maintain a compliance history score of at least 75 percent is violation of North Carolina law — Gateway scored a 71.
School administrators say they have come up with a plan and submitted it to DHHS, and that they are working with a consultant to address their provisional status.
They are required to notify parents and display that provisional license for at least a year.