Parent defends day care after state revokes license
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment last week suspended the license of the De Soto day care provider Cheryl Schuler.
The action last Thursday closed the day care at 8820 Waverly in De Soto. State law allows the KDHE secretary to issue such an order when it is deemed necessary to protect children in the home from any potential threat to health or safety.
The order came after officials with the KDHE and Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Service jointly inspected the day care Nov. 17. That inspection found “the home is not reasonably clean or uncluttered and has strong pet odor due to the licensee housing 12 dogs, two cats and one bird” in the home.
The KDHE order also states the home was “constructed, arranged and maintained to provide adequately for children because the 12 dogs in the kennels which take up large amounts of space in all areas of the home, including the child care areas.” Two of the kennels were uncovered and at eye-level with the children, the order says.
The order also states the day care space of 11 foot by 6 foot was inadequate for the day care’s five full-time pre-schoolers and two part-time school aged children to play and nap and too unsafe for its one infant in care to explore.
Finally, the report says hazards such as a pellet gun, chemical and home care materials were accessible to the children.
Day care providers can appeal suspension order. Schuler did not answer or return phone calls from The De Soto Explorer about her plans.
However, one parent of children at the day care, Kristie Kraus, said the suspension was unfair. Her 5-year-old and 10-year-old children have been going to the day care since they were 6 months old, she said.
“I was in that home twice a day to drop off and pick up my kids,” she said. “If I saw something dirty or unsafe do you think I would leave them there?
“My kids are very upset. That’s their Aunt Cheri. She has done nothing but provide safety and love for the kids she watched.”
Kraus said her children were now in another day care Schuler suggested, but she would return them to Schuler’s care if the suspension was lifted.
The home also caught the attention of the city.
On Nov. 25, eight days before the state released the suspension order, city codes enforcer Pam Graff sent Jason and Cheryl Schuler a letter, informing them of a possible violation for having more than three dogs in their residence.
The letter informed the Schulers they could apply for a $50 kennel license, which would require “strict regulation.”