Northwest Family Services closed, license revoked

2014-01-31T20:00:00Z 2014-01-31T21:16:10Z Northwest Family Services closed, license revokedMatt Mikus matt.mikus@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com
January 31, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Hammond child care center was closed permanently on Friday after operating for four days with a revoked license.

The Indiana Bureau of Child Care, a branch of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, revoked the license of Northwest Family Services on Monday. The facility, however, continued to take in children.  

The daycare was closed after an inspector visited the premise around 2 p.m Friday, according to a facility employee.

The facility's license was revoked in March 2013, but allowed to operate as owners continued through their appeal process, which ended in October when the state upheld the revocation.

State inspectors documented 117 violations, ranging from lighting issues, broken equipment, lack of hot water and an unsafe playground.

Marni Lemons, deputy communications director for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, said the facility should have been aware of the closure.

"They've been through the whole process, and it appears they exhausted their options," Lemons said. "Why they were continuing to operate, I don't know. They had to have been notified, they had to be aware."

One employee who had worked at the facility for 11 years, said the swipe cards that provide federal funding for low income families to pay for child care, wouldn't read on the card reader machines after the Monday.

She added that parents and staff were told the machines were broken, though the employee noted the scanners displayed "unauthorized" when cards were swiped.

David Armistead, executive director of Northwest Family Services, said he was unaware of the closure. When The Times said the closure was confirmed by state authorities, he declined to comment.

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