KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A longstanding daycare facility in Kansas City, Kan., may be able to remain open after the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) proposed a corrective action plan Tuesday to work with Pandarama Schools to reinstate an agreement with DCF.
Morris and Carolyn Sipple, the owners of Pandarama, said they have had an agreement with DCF since the first opened in 1976. With this agreement, the daycare provided services to low income families who were eligible to receive childcare subsidy benefits. Those families represented 60 percent of the Sipple’s business.
After the Kansas DCF terminated its contract with Pandarama on July 22, 2014, the Sipple’s feared they would close. Several parents left and many parents were having a difficult time finding other daycare providers.
41 Action News spent weeks trying to get answers from the DCF and the Kansas Department of Health about the reasons that led to the termination.
Following our report, the Kansas DCF released a statement about the joint efforts between the Kansas Department of Children and Families and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
“The facility has proposed a corrective action plan, and following KDHE-confirmation that the facility is in compliance, the child care subsidy will be reinstated. When DCF notified Pandarama of its intent to discontinue the child care subsidy, it also notified all parents who qualify for the subsidy of this decision. DCF offered help to parents to identify a new child care provider. DCF and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) take seriously the safety of children. That is why our providers are held to high standards of care. Facilities are regularly inspected to ensure ongoing compliance of KDHE regulations.”
According to the state, DCF and KDHE worked closely with Pandarama throughout the past year to address concerns related to child safety.
According to the DCF, some of the issues include staff to student ratio. It has also been over capacity and lacked documentation of staff records. On one inspection, staff was not aware that an 18-month-old was not in the classroom where the child was thought to be.
In a statement from DCF, “We hope to help Pandarama remain in compliance so that children’s safety is not compromised in an effort to keep the doors open.”