BAKER, LA (WAFB) - The license has been revoked for Mini Miracles Child Care and Learning Center in Baker after one of the facility's employees was arrested and charged with identity theft and forgery.
Alica Monique Robinson, 39, falsely claimed to be the child care center director and provided a fake driver's license to the Department of Education during two different inspections of the daycare.
During the inspection, Robinson claimed to be her mother Bertha Morgan, who is the director of the daycare.
When the department licensing specialist asked for identification, Robinson said she lost her driver's license, and presented a photocopy of Morgan's driver's license and Social Security card. After the specialist voiced concern regarding the woman driving the center's van without a current driver's license in her possession, she said she would get another one from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Later that day she provided what appeared to be a valid duplicate Louisiana driver's license in the name of Bertha Morgan. However the person pictured on this license was not the same person pictured in the license provided by Morgan with her initial application for a child care license.
The department notified State Police, who confirmed the individual pictured on the duplicate driver's license was actually Alica Robinson and that the license was fraudulent. Troopers arrested Alica Robinson at the facility on August 12 after they say she falsely represented herself to a Trooper as Bertha Morgan and provided the Trooper the fraudulent driver's license as proof of her identity.
In addition to the crimes, department licensing staff discovered 18 deficiencies, and cited the facility for those issues. The center did not have current State Central Registry documentation for all employees, Criminal Background Checks for all employees, and the center did not meet the child/staff ratio requirements at all times. Mini Miracles Child Care and Learning Center had no records of any kind at the center for an employee named Alica Robinson.
This is not the first incident at a Baton Rouge area childcare facility this summer. Earlier this year, police said a 22-month-old died while in the care of an unlicensed facility. Another facility was allegedly at the center of a drug ring.
"It hurts us so much to hear these stories," said Earl Willis with the Child Care Association of Louisiana. "The last thing you want to hear as a parent is that your child is in an unsafe environment."
The association advises parents to know the difference between unlicensed and licensed centers. Unlicensed centers do not have to undergo certain safety inspections that are required for licensed centers.
"Parents need to understand when they drop their kids off at a childcare center, they're doing so in an environment where the child can grow, where they can be nurtured," said Willis.
The Department of Education has established a website with a database of licensed child care centers.
The association advises that before a parent sends their child to a facility, they should meet with the owner and find out what their values are. After that, they say parents should stay involved and in contact with caretakers.
"Is your child just a dollar sign to them or do they actually care about the health and well-being of your child?" Willis said.
The Mini Miracles center is now ineligible for public funding through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which subsidizes child care for low-income families. Families affected by this action will be referred to licensed facilities eligible to receive CCAP funding.
Mini Miracles Child Care and Learning Center has until August 28, 2015 to appeal the Department of Education's decision. Revoked operators may not restart operations until approved by the department to do so. Operating a child care center illegally may result in a court order to cease and desist, as well as placement on the state registry of unauthorized child care facilities.
Alica Monique Robinson has been charged with identity theft, forgery, and false swearing and injuring public records.
She was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office on August 12, 2015. She was released on the same day after posting an $8,000 bond.