WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued an emergency order of suspension to Wichita day care provider We R Kids, 10221 W. 13 St. in Wichita.

In its order, the KDHE alleges several violations, including shoes being taped to a child’s feet and not having enough workers to handle the number of children.

According to the KDHE, the state law allows the KDHE secretary to suspend a day care’s license if, in the secretary’s opinion, it is necessary to protect children.

Matthew Courtney says he was like many parents and initially hesitant to send his toddlers to day care.

“I did not want to do a day care facility at all.”

Earlier this year, he enrolled both of his young children at We R Kids. He said there had been some issues, but it reached a boiling point on August 12.

“They were having issues with her having her shoes on her feet,” Courtney explained. “Normally a person would call and let us know that, ‘Hey the shoes don’t fit, we need to get her new ones.’ Or they would wait for us to pick her up, and they would give us her shoes and let us know that she wasn’t wanting to wear them. This teacher decided to wrap [packing] tape around her feet to hold the shoes in place.”

Soon after, Courtney filed a complaint to KDHE.

“This is to let everybody know what’s going on with this day care, this is who you’re trusting to watch your kids,” Courtney added.

KSN did reach out to the owner of We R Kids, they did decline to give us an interview or a statement. However, they did post this statement to their Facebook page Thursday evening.

The statement was later deleted from their Facebook page on Thursday night.

As for Courtney, he says his fear of not trusting a day care to take care of his kids is as high as ever.

“I have to put my trust in now another day care facility when I thought I could do it to this one. Now, I’m going to do research on it, find out reviews, find out Better Business Bureau. I’m going to look through everything on there, see if they have any cases against them, truly find out everything in the background of what you don’t see in the day care.”

Courtney tells us he is looking to take legal action against the day care.

The KDHE order listed these alleged violations from a survey done on Aug. 17:

  1. Facility is allowing two known prohibited persons to regularly work in the facility.
  2. Staff did not provide reasonable information when providing inaccurate names of staff working the day of the survey.
  3. Facility is not operating with strict regard to the health, comfort, safety and social welfare of the children when a staff member was told to come to work after a doctor provided a note to stay home until 8/18/21.
  4. One infant, 5 weeks old, was not moved to a crib when the infant was sleeping in the bouncer. Infant was moved to a crib at the request of the surveyor.
  5. Children in three units did not have a bottom sheet at naptime.
  6. Three units do not have a staff person meeting the training requirements for the maximum capacity as stated on the license.
  7. The minimum staff to child ratio was not maintained in two units. The Airplane unit had one staff member with 10 toddlers and the Tree House unit has one staff member with six children between 6 weeks to 3 years of age (five of the children were infants).
  8. Two children were not in designated units when they were dropped off by an employee to go do the bus run. The children were left in the office with a staff member.
  9. A current written delegations of administrative authority is not available.
  10. Terms of the license was not maintained in three units. The Tree house unit is licensed for six children between 2 weeks to 12 months or 2 weeks to 6 years (maximum 4 infants) and was operating with 6 children between 6 weeks and 3 years of age with five infants present. The Airplane unit is licensed for 10 children 12 months to 2 1/2 years and was operating with 10 children 1.6 years to 2.10 years. The Circus unit is licensed for 23 children 3 years to school age was operating with six children between the ages of 3 years to 9 years of age.
  11. Staff member did not demonstrate an understanding of children when taping a child’s shoes to her feet so she could not remove the shoes.
  12. Facility did not submit identifying information for two individuals as required for background checks.
  13. Facility is not in compliance with Consent Agreement dated October 21, 2020.

The KDHE order goes on to say that the next day, one of its surveyors found these issues:

  1. The minimum staff to child ratio was not maintained on 8/18/21 in the Airplanes unit when there was one staff with eight children between the ages of 1.6 years to 2 years old.
  2. Terms of the license is not maintained on 8/18/21 in the Circus unit. The unit is licensed for 23 children ages 3 years to school age. At the time of the visit there were 18 children between 2.10 years to 8 years of age present.
  3. Facility did not submit identifying information for one staff as required for background check.
  4. Facility is not in compliance with Consent Agreement dated October 21, 2020.

An investigation was completed on these complaints and according to the KDHE, “Based on the results of the investigation the allegations are substantiated and additional areas of noncompliance were found not related to the complaint.”

We R Kids can appeal the order.