A Longmont child care center has been placed on probationary status by the state for not fulfilling a number of requirements for staff and safety conditions at the facility.
Guidepost Montessori at Longmont was placed on probation at the end of July. The child care center at 1011 Dry Creek Dr. Rd. provides programming for children six weeks to 6 years old, according to its website.
According to Colorado Shines, the state’s quality rating and improvement system that monitors early learning programs, probation means the program agrees to follow certain conditions unique to each program, usually lasting for six months.
The child care center did not respond to an emailed request for comment. By state law, parents and guardians of children enrolled in the program will receive a letter from the Colorado Department of Human Services describing the reasons for probation.
Originally licensed in 2020, Guidepost Montessori has a capacity of 126. During an inspection on April 20 of this year in response to an injury report, the Department of Human services found a number of violations.
These violations included various hazards accessible to children, which were corrected at the time of inspection, along with staffing, attendance and group size violations. The center had not conducted regular emergency drills and lacked various documentation requirements.
The inspector also observed four children riding bikes through the hallways unsupervised. Additionally, several staff members were missing required background checks and training.
The state inspected Guidepost Montessori again on June 15 in response to a different injury, finding similar issues with objects meant to be kept out of reach of children accessible to them and some staff members still not up to date on training and other requirements. The inspector said they also observed an infant placed in an unsafe sleeping environment.
At the July 7 inspection, background checks and training remained an issue, and the inspector noted that choking hazards were once again accessible to children under 3.
After the license was deemed probationary on July 28, the state inspected the facility Aug. 2 to investigate a complaint issued on July 19. The investigation found that a child left a classroom without supervision and went to the playground outside.
Unrelated to the complaint, the inspection also stated that transition times were not being documented as required and that two staff members still lacked required training and clearance letters.
Under probationary status, Guidepost Montessori will be monitored for compliance of specific stipulations each month for at least six months. If the facility successfully completes all probationary stipulations and completes a renewal inspection, the license will be approved for a permanent status, according to the Colorado Office of Early Childhood.
If the facility has consistent violations of the stipulations, the application may be denied. This could mean additional stipulations for another probationary term, or the denial may result in immediate closure.