PRESS RELEASE as of 3/20/23
“The [Broward County] school board is committed to conducting business in an ethical, open, and transparent manner so the citizens of Broward County can have the utmost confidence in the district”.
I fully support this model and I am leading by example.
Broward County has been allowing approximately 11 unlicensed before and aftercare facilities operating for more than a year on school premises
According to internal sources the operators completed and submitted applications for licensure to operate a child care facility as required, but 11 never were allegedly RFP approved nor were BASCC quarterly audits performed to confirm compliance with certifications, training requirements, First Aid, Fire Extinguisher training, physician’s statement of good health for child care personnel and more. It also appears that the criminal background checks may not have been performed. It is unknown whether any child care applicants or directors had ever had a child care facility or family care home license, permit, or registration, denied, whether the applicants or directors ever had a revoked, or suspended license for a child care facility in any jurisdiction, been subject to disciplinary action, or been fined while employed on a child care facility. It also appears that the required staff file checklist was not completed, was incomplete and or never verified.
Insiders say that licenses to operate the child care facilities were never issued and the mandates as set for Broward Child Care Licensing were timely met.
After more than a year of children attending the unlicensed day care facilities parents were not given an explanation but notified that the facilities were being closed and alternative child care arrangements needed to be made. One parent that contacted me advised that he was aware of multiple child care facilities being involved, numerous families being impacted, and he has the distinct impression that the district is hiding what is going on because they will not provide information as to why the day care centers are being closed 60 days prior until the end of the school year. He advised that he has not received any correspondence from the district explaining their actions and that his phone calls are not being returned.
Parents have the right to expect their children to be safe and are owed transparency. When the system has failed to protect our children and put them in danger, parents deserve to know the safeguards that are being put into action so their is no reoccurrence.
Covering up licensing and security flaws, concealing information, remaining silent, allowing this go undetected to for more than one year, and failing to put in safe guards to assure that this does not occur again is unconscionable. The District must learn from our mistakes and administration held accountable. We can not continue to be the district that buries our head in the sand and look the other way. Have we learned nothing from the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas tragedy?
Accountability starts at the top. This security issue predates my and Superintendent Smileys placement to the School District. We spoke previously and agreed a press statement should be issued.
Principals have allegedly been admonished for not authenticating day care licensees credentials. This is not a principal’s job. This responsibility falls upon the district.
The safety of our children is paramount. As such, I am forwarding a copy of this press release to Vice Chancellor of School Safety with the Florida Department of Education, Scott Strauss and calling for a complete investigation.
I ask for all citizens to assist in protecting our children and that all persons involved or touched by this unfortunate lack of safety protocols contact me by email, phone, or mail and provide any and all information. Those that wish to remain anonymous may mail me a letter directly to my home or put it in my mailbox or I can provide you with contact information for the Vice Chancellor Strauss.
Demanding transparency and accountability.
Brenda Fam, Esq.
Broward County School Board, District 6