Cape Girardeau day care shut down over drug sale allegations

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Beautiful Beginnings Childcare, 2625 Hopper Road in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

A Cape Girardeau day care already under supervision by state licensing authorities for rule violations was shut down Thursday after its owner was allegedly found to have sold drugs to an undercover informant.

Documents on file with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Section for Child Care Regulation say that Keisha L. McReynolds, owner of Beautiful Beginnings Childcare at 2625 Hopper Road, had eight children present at the day care last week when she sold hydrocodone, a controlled substance, to a reliable informant of the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force. The department immediately revoked McReynold's license Thursday upon being notified of the sale by task force agent Mike Alford.

Documents in the department's public file say the children in McReynolds' care "were placed in imminent danger" by the drug sale.

No arrest warrant or record of criminal charges for McReynolds related to the incident were on file with the state when the day care was ordered shut down.

A check of online court records Friday afternoon showed no criminal charges against McReynolds.

Records show the day care had been operating in that location since 2008. Violations of several state child care facility safety rules were recorded by child care regulation staff beginning in April of this year and were not corrected during monthly visits by the staff through September.

Violations included caregivers not remaining in rooms with napping children as required; the total number of children in the facility exceeding the number allowed by the state license and exceeding the child-to-staff ratio allowed; several outdoor hazards including poison ivy, inadequate ground cover material and fencing in a play area, and hazardous materials being within reach of children. Child care regulation staff wrote in reports that they also saw parents bringing milk to the facility for their children, viewed a letter asking parents to bring milk and received a complaint the facility was asking them to do so. This is also a rule violation because the facility qualifies to receive a subsidy for milk through a state program.

Child care regulation staff shut down the day care around 3:45 p.m. Thursday and all parents were notified of the incident and cause for suspension of the license. Twenty-three children were present at the facility Thursday, including five related to McReynolds.

Beautiful Beginnings was licensed as a group home, which allows up to 20 children to be cared for with a child-to-staff ratio determined by the state based on the ages of children.

A call to a number listed for McReynolds on department documents was not returned after a message was left Friday evening.

A letter notifying McReynolds of the license suspension was hand-delivered by the department Friday. She has the right to appeal the suspension.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

2625 Hopper Road, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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