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Livermore child care center shuts down due to violations

March 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A child care center was abruptly shut down by state regulators on Friday. Universal Preschool is on Florence Road in Livermore and the Department of Social Services released the list of violations they had, which includes the improper swaddling of children.

Monday was the first day that parents did not bring their children to the center. From what we've learned, state workers discovered most of the violations during unannounced visits.

"At this point, you just kind of feel like you let your kids down, you know?" said parent Kevin Albert.

Albert said he should have done more homework. Universal Preschool in Livermore, formerly known as the Sunnyside Infant and Preschool, was shut down by state regulators on Friday. It came as a surprise to Albert, who enrolled his son two months ago.

"I toured a lot of facilities and this one looked like one of the better ones. The cleanliness and everything, organization, it looked great," said Albert.

State regulators are seeking to revoke Universal's license permanently. They say they found a number of violations. Among them was an infant sleeping in a high chair, a worker without a proper background check, more children than what the school is licensed to care for, and the improper restraining of children.

Investigators actually showed some of the parents photos of their babies swaddled with a blanket tied around their body and another around their ankles.

"I was trying to find out the whole time if it happened to my child and they can't say with 100 percent certainty that it didn't happen to him, but we're fairly certain it didn't. But you know, nobody can say for sure," said Albert.

Universal's director Lida Sharaf and employee Nazila Sharaf are named in the complaint. State regulators are looking to ban them from working at any child care center licensed by them. Our attempts to reach the pair have been unsuccessful. Parents, however, have been able to get through.

"They've always been very nice to me until this incident happened and then it's been lie after lie when you call them trying to get refunds and suddenly it's, 'Oh, I never worked here,' 'I only work part time' and 'I don't know what you're talking about,'" said Albert.

Livermore police have assigned two detectives to this case. They're still interviewing parents, but at this point they say they haven't found anything criminal.


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