State Alleges Multiple Violations at Former Child Care Center

Staff Writer

A Newport childcare center appears to have quit operations before being shut down by the state for numerous violations, including an incident involving injury to a child. However, the former center director said that it was her decision to close the facility, because she was busy, and it was too much stress on her.
The mother of a child who had been under the care of staff at the Cuddly Cubs Childcare Center, recently made allegations that neglect occurred at the center and resulted in serious injury to her five-year-old son.
The five year old boy suffered two broken wrists April 3 and was treated at the North Country Hospital emergency room, where he was taken by his mother, Debra Lee Woodard.
Woodard said that Cuddly Cubs staff failed to bring her son in for treatment and that he had been waiting injured at the center's location on Prospect Street before she showed up and later took him to the hospital.
Newport City Police Detective Jennifer Harlow, who investigated the case concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove neglect.
But state investigators made a different determination. Kelly Lyford, licensing supervisor, and Vicki Burgess licensing field specialist, from the Child Development Division of Vermont's Department for Children and Families, found multiple violations at the site that they felt were sufficient to suspend Cuddly Cubs' license to operate as a childcare organization.
The state inspectors held visits on April 7 and again on April 11.
Cuddly Cubs, which has operated for several years at three Newport locations, was owned by James Morse with Cindy Longe as the center's former director. They closed the doors April 11 after operating under appeal of the state suspension of its license for reasons of non-compliance in remedying violations found by the state. (Read full story in the Express Weekend Edition)