PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The owner of an unlicensed home daycare where a child was found unresponsive Monday and later died was issued a "cease and desist" order this last June, according to documents obtained by the 9News Investigators.
Legally, an unlicensed daycare can only house less than seven children unless the children are related to the caregiver.
The Louisiana Department of Education says it visited the home on July 18 to follow up on the cease and desist order, and during that visit, found 16 children present. The state says because of that, it was in the process "of pursuing the next legal step, which was preparing to go to court to seek an injunction to prohibit the owner from operating an unlawful, unlicensed child daycare center."
The child who died Monday, a 3-month-old, was rushed to a Baton Rouge hospital after being found not breathing at the home daycare on Forest Hills Drive in Prairieville. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital. The child had been battling a cold and the staff put the child down for a nap and later found the child unresponsive, investigators said.
The daycare had ten children and five workers present at the time the child was taken from the home Monday.
The law requiring a daycare license reads: Any place or center operated by any institution, political subdivision, society, agency, corporation, person or persons, or any other group for the purpose of providing care, supervision, and guidance of seven or more children, not including those related to the caregiver, unaccompanied by parent or legal custodian, on a regular basis for at least 12 1/2 hours in a continuous 7-day week.
The owner of the daycare, Camey Raven, told WAFB Tuesday she did not want to operate a licensed daycare because of the tougher restrictions that are placed on such businesses. For example, she says she would not be allowed to keep certain sick children if she were licensed. She says because she has a smaller number of children than a traditional daycare, she is able to take better care of those children. Raven says she loves the children in the daycare as though they are her own.
The Department of Education released the following statement Tuesday:
The following information was obtained by the Investigators Tuesday from the Louisiana Department of Education:
Camey Goudeau or Camey Raven*
*It should be noted that individual has used different names and there may be multiple family members with similar names living or frequently occupying this location. It appears that Camey Goudeau was married to a Mr. Duke Raven in 2016.
Summary of Activities:
- Prior to May 12, 2017, complaints had been received regarding Camey Goudeau operating an unlicensed day care center at Shadow Brook Avenue in Denham Springs, but licensing inspections showed that the operations did not meet the definition of a day care center.
- On May 12, 2017, Licensing received a complaint regarding a homeowner at Forest Hill Drive in Prairieville operating an unlicensed day care center. The complaint indicated that 7 or 8 children were being cared for up to 24 hours daily and there were more children when school was out.
- On May 22, 2017, Licensing conducted a visit in which there were 5 children unrelated to the caregiver present, so the operation did not meet the definition of a day care center.
- On June 27, 2017, a licensing specialist conducted a follow-up visit and observed 18 children in the home. There were 7 or more children unrelated to the caregiver, indicating that the center was operating as an unlawful, unlicensed child day care center.
- In response to June 27 visit, the Department sent a cease and desist letter (attached). It was mailed via regular and certified mail on July 3, 2017.
- Following up on cease and desist letter, a licensing specialist visited the location on July 18, 2017 and observed 16 children present. Seven or more children were unrelated to the owner, indicating that the location was still operating as an unlawful, unlicensed child day care center.
- As a result of the owner’s failure to get licensed or cease and desist, the Department was in the process of pursuing the next legal step, which was preparing to go to court to seek an injunction to prohibit the owner from operating an unlawful, unlicensed child day care center.