San Jose day care shut down after 1-year-old children drown in pool

Lauren Martinez Image
Friday, October 6, 2023
SJ day care shut down after 1-year-old children drown in pool
Happy Happy Daycare in San Jose has been shut down after two 1-year-old girls died and one hospitalized after falling into a pool on Monday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A San Jose daycare has been shut down after three children fell into a pool on Monday. Two died and one was hospitalized.

The operating license for Happy Happy Daycare in Almaden Valley was suspended on Thursday night.

The Department of Social Services may also prohibit the operators from working at any facility licensed by the state.

RELATED: 1-year-old girls ID'd as children who drowned in San Jose day care pool, coroner says

The two licensees are facing $11,000 in civil penalties.

For the past four years, Doug Forbes has delved into drowning prevention.

In June of 2019, his 6-year-old daughter Roxie drowned at a summer camp in Altadena.

Forbes established the Meow Meow Foundation, named after Roxie's favorite comfort doll.

Through education and legislative work, Forbes evaluates safety at day cares, camps and aquatic facilities.

Last year in June, Roxie's Swim Safe Ordinance was adopted in Los Angeles County that includes new pool safety requirements.

Forbes advocates for more state mandate regulations.

"It takes a village to help a child and protect a child, and it takes a village to harm one," Forbes said.

Forbes said 88% of drownings occur with an adult nearby - therefore regulations should compensate the risk.

"So if you have supervisors or owner operators of day care operations, with pools they should absolutely have to take a water safety/drowning prevention course. I also think they should have a Water Safety Plan, an Emergency Action Plan so that they can share these plans with not only the Department of Social Services or Community Care Licensing, they should have to provide those plans to parents so that the parents understand there are some inherent risks leaving your child in the care of a day care operation with a pool. But also, are you willing to take those risks and are those day care operations prepared?" Forbes said.

Happy Happy Daycare received several citations from the state since opening in 2021.

Forbes pointed out one evaluation report made that year said: "the pool area is inaccessible to the children in care."

"Well, completely false, because the pool area was entirely accessible to the children in care, in fact it was feet away from the children in care," Forbes said.

As parents and caregivers, Forbes suggests there's never too many questions to ask when it comes to safety.

"This is your precious cargo, this is your life and that life is in your hands and if you need to ask a thousand and one questions, ask a thousand and one questions. Reach out to folks like myself and there are other capable parties out there to folks who can help answer those questions because obviously when you ask those questions at the facilities that you're paying they are going to present their best case and not always the truth. Or the facts," Forbes said.

Homicide detectives continue to investigate the drownings at Happy Happy Daycare.

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