State takes action to stop 'illegal' day care

INDIANAPOLIS - The state is taking action to stop a northeast side woman they say is operating an illegal day care.

Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney has learned the Family and Social Services Administration, represented by the Indiana Attorney General, has filed a complaint for an injunction and civil penalties against Lisa Vaughn, 7936 Ashton Drive.

“If providers violate our state’s laws and potentially put the safety of children at risk, then the Office of the Attorney General works with our client FSSA to take appropriate legal action in court, including seeking injunctions to halt illegal activity, consistent with our role as state government’s lawyer,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement to Kenney.

According to the complaint filed February 26, Vaughn has a history of operating illegally.

In 2007, a state inspector visited and found eight children present, two of which were related to Vaughn.

In Indiana, you must have a license if you have six or more unrelated children.

Following the death of a 2 month old boy at the facility in May 2013, police observed ten unrelated children at the home.

Vaughn was issued a cease and desist letter on May 23, 2013.

On November 27, 2013, the Department of Child Services received a report of child neglect at the day care.

“On December 9, 2013, two DCS employees visited the location and personally observed 6 children at the address with only one adult present,” read the complaint.

Vaughn was issued a plan of correction and cease and desist letter.

Records show Vaughn attempted to apply for a license, however her license was denied on December 18, 2013 due to her previously operating a child care home without a license.  

Kenney stopped by her home in January 2014 and asked if she's still operating an unlicensed day care.

"I do have a day care, yes,” Vaughn said from behind a partially open door.

Vaughn would not allow Kenney inside to see how many children were at the day care.

"I'm in the process of getting my license, and I actually have an appointment," said Vaughn.

A March 3 ruling from an administrative law judge sided with the state, and upheld FSSA’s denial of Vaughn’s license application.

“FSSA has requested that the Attorney General seek an injunction to prevent Vaughn from continuing to operate an illegal child care in her residence,” said FSSA spokesperson Marni Lemons in an email to RTV6. “State laws require that any home-based child care provider caring for more than five children unrelated to them to be licensed. We believe that Ms. Vaughn has been knowingly operating illegally for quite some time, creating an unsafe environment for the children in her care. “

Lemons said Indiana’s child care laws are in place to protect the health and safety of children.

“Unlicensed, illegally operating child cares pose a great danger to children, as those providers are disregarding basic requirements of safety, training and supervision, among others,” said Lemons. “Those who continue to operate illegally, like Ms. Vaughn, are not acting in the best interest of the children they are caring for. “

Licensed child care providers are required to post their license.

FSSA encourages families to ask to see your provider’s license or their Paths to QUALITY certificate, especially if there are more than five children being cared for in a home, said Lemons.

“Families should also check for their provider’s inspection reports on www.chidcarefinder.in.gov ,” said Lemons. “If you are unable to locate your child care provider on this website, it could be a warning sign. Call the Bureau of Child Care at 1-877-511-1144 for more information. “

The court has not yet set a hearing date on the complaint for injunction against Lisa Vaughn.

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