State Pulls Child Care Licenses From Terri’s Little Pumpkins Day Care Facilities

CHELSEA (CBS) – A chain of day care centers that’s been cited by the state for numerous regulatory violations will be closing its doors.

The state Department of Early Education and Care has revoked the money for child care vouchers Terri’s Little Pumpkins relies on to fund the centers.

It’s also moving to revoke the operating license.

Director Terri Bettano promised a statement from her attorney when confronted outside the Somerville location Thursday. She also owns centers in Revere, Chelsea, and Medford.

In 2015 and 2016 TLP was cited for insufficient food and drink for the children, inadequate staffing and failing to pay employees in a timely manner, among other violations.

The Revere Housing Inspector said he received two complaints last year about “deplorable conditions” at the center on Squire Road and found several dead rodents and droppings in the kitchen area along with a carpet covered in mold and mildew.

Dead rodents found at the Revere location of Terri's Little Pumpkins last year. (Photo courtesy City of Revere)

Dead rodents found at the Revere location of Terri’s Little Pumpkins last year. (Photo courtesy City of Revere)

“There was food left around, open food containers on the floor,” said inspector John Ferrara.

The state says the owner had ignored orders to improve conditions by hiring a consultant and creating an action plan to address administrative issues.

The former assistant director of the Somerville location, Lisa Dwyer, says paychecks that were given to employees late also bounced.

She says she often bought food and supplies herself and was never reimbursed.

Parent Erica Owens says surveillance cameras caught her daughter falling out of a crib but it was never reported by the staff.

“They shouldn’t be caring for children,” said Owens.

Terri’s Little Pumpkins has until October 14 to appeal the license revocation order.

In a letter to parents Thursday, Bettano said TLP will appeal to the state to keep the Medford facility open.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

More from Beth Germano

One Comment

  1. SHAINA KALIL says:

    My son was neglected there in February 2014 (You can see my review on yelp). Several times we would walk in to see staff applying make up and not watching the kids, yelling at children but the final straw was making my child sit in his own urine for HOURS on several occasions without changing him into the clothes I provided or as little as a phone call to us and I work down the street. This place is disgusting and its even more disgusting that the state took this long and risked more child neglect! I called and filed an official complaint with the state the day after I pulled him out of there and Terri’s had the NERVE to try and make me pay a fee for not giving them two weeks notice!!!

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