GREENPORT – Nancy H. Smith, director and founder of the Columbia Children’s Center, is no longer working at the facility, interim director Emma S. Herzhauser said in a letter to parents on Friday.
The New York City Office of Child and Family Services, which authorizes the facility, confirmed on Friday that Herzhauser was the acting director.
The letter did not specify whether Smith was leaving voluntarily or was fired.
Herzhauser also told parents that the Office of Children and Family Services is seeking to revoke the daycare’s license. The centre’s status on the OCFS website is listed as “pending revocation”.
The OCFS also released the results of two inspections they carried out last week at the center, where violations were found at the facility.
As of September 9, the Columbia Children’s Center had two lists of violations: each identified staff member and volunteer received timely federal health and safety training, and each identified staff member supervising children completed a federal health and safety training. Both were classified as “not observed” by the OCFS.
On September 10, the center was listed with the same two more violations: the program must operate in accordance with all emergency health guidelines promulgated by the Ministry of Health in the interest of public health during an emergency. designated public health. The OCFS has listed them as non-compliant.
State Police began their investigation of the center on September 9, after receiving reports of physical abuse of children, said Aaron Hicks, chief information officer for Troop K State Police.
The investigation centers on an unidentified employee who no longer shows up for work, said Michael Howard, attorney at Columbia Children’s Center.
No arrests were made.
“There isn’t a specific timeline that the police are looking at,” Hicks said. “We will go back as far as the investigation takes us.”
The daycare, at 142 Union Turnpike, has remained open since the investigation began.
State police seek to speak with parents who are current or former clients of the center. If anyone has any information or if you suspect that your child has been abused at the facility, please call the police at 845-677-7300 and refer to Case # 10439195.
Columbia Children’s Center is licensed by the National Office of Child and Family Services. Smith founded the center in 1982.