Cumberland Co. daycare closed after reported child choking

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A reported choking of a 2-year-old child causes a Cumberland County daycare center to close its doors.

The State Department of Public Welfare shutdown the Children’s Arc Early Learning Center in Mechanicsburg on Friday evening, September 27th.

And ever since parents have been scrambling to find a safe place for their kids to stay.

At 8 years old, Erika Garcia’s two children were the oldest kids to be enrolled at Children’s Arc.

She says her children weren’t close to what she calls, “the infant room” where the 2-year-old child was allegedly choked, but she still feels cheated by the Christian based directors.

“The kids prayed before they eat, they always had breakfast, lunch, snacks when they got back..kids enjoyed being there so I mean it seemed like a really good daycare,” says Erika Garcia.

In fact she switched up her childcare when the facility opened last November because she knew the Assistant Director at Children’s Arc.

Last Friday…she never expected to see what she walked up to.

When Erika Garcia came here to pick up her kids she tells us the playground was empty, the doors were closed, and Daycare Directors as well as state officials were standing out on the center’s driveway.

“It was kind of like okay they’re closed they’re shutdown this is it, and then to find out the teachers didn’t have their documentation, the teachers didn’t have their TB tests, the director wasn’t fit to run the daycare..it was all very shocking,” says Garcia.

Garcia was handed a packet with the reasons why the daycare was shutdown.

She was also handed a list of approved daycare facilities to enroll her children in for the meantime.

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning says Children’s Arc passed its tests last year when it first opened.

“When they were initially inspected they were opened with no violations whatsoever and we immediately came back when we had a complaint,” says Barbara Minzenberg, the Department Secretary with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

Although Garcia’s upset, she’s glad her children are safe.

She tells us she won’t be going back even if the daycare reopens.

When asked why it took six weeks to conduct the investigation and reach the conclusion to shut down the Children’s Arc Early Learning Center, the spokesperson tells FOX43 they shut down the facility immediately after receiving the complaint.