Tennessee Day Care Shut Down For Hiding Infants In Storage Room

Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state shut down a rural day care center after an unannounced inspection found three crying infants hidden behind a closed door in a room that contained hot water heaters and electrical boxes.

When an inspector visited Paulette's Group Day Care Home in Lafayette on Friday, there was only one worker minding eight children - a violation of state rules, Department of Human Services spokeswoman Michelle Mowery Johnson said.

Officials said the day care worker put the three infants - all younger than 2 years old - in their playpens, pinned blankets over the tops of the playpens, shut the door and posted a sign: "Private Day Care does not go beyond this door."

The day care's owner, Paulette Colter, could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday at the day care, which is located about 50 miles northeast of Nashville near the Kentucky state line.

Colter's license has been suspended, and the state will hold a hearing Wednesday, Johnson said. She is also being investigated by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Ten children were infected with E. coli at the same day care last June. Four were sent to the hospital for treatment and later released, Johnson said.

The E. coli did not originate at the day care, Johnson said, but the state cited the day care for not keeping accurate daily attendance records on each child, leaving children unattended outside and exceeding the day care's licensed capacity.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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