Northern Michigan Daycare Authorities Shutter Another Daycare

“If you don’t sign this paper saying you agree that you violated these rules, we’ll shut your daycare down and do a press release.”

That’s what daycare provider Beth Olosky heard from local authorities tasked with enforcing Michigan’s daycare licensing standards.

Officials accused Olosky of violating state daycare regulations. They told her she needed to agree that she committed the violations. They told her that if she didn’t agree, they would summarily shut down her daycare and issue a press release so that everyone knows about it.

Olosky didn’t agree. Local state daycare officials shut her down and issued a press release.

When state daycare officials issue an emergency shutdown, the doors shut immediately. All of the parents who rely on the daycare so they can work are out of luck. The daycare provider is out of their livelihood.

While the daycare provider has a right to challenge the accusations against them, the doors of the daycare must stay shut until the hearing date. That can take months. In the meantime, the daycare worker has no income.

Imagine if the state could walk into any other business and summarily shut the doors until you prove your innocence. In the meantime, you have no income and the people who rely on your services have nowhere to go. Now add threats of a press release if you don’t agree that you did whatever they’ve accused you of doing.

here are some things that come to mind:

Is the State Committing Extortion?

“Sign this or I’ll shut you down and send out a press release.”

That piques my interest as to the definition of extortion. Here’s the Michigan definition of criminal extortion:

“Any person who shall, either orally or by a written or printed communication, maliciously threaten to accuse another of any crime or offense, or…maliciously threaten any injury to the person or property…of another with…with intent to compel the person so threatened to do or refrain from doing any act against his will, shall be guilty of a felony…”

That’s Michigan Compiled Law 750.213.

How is that any different than what the state daycare licensing people are doing? They’re making a threat (I’ll go to the press) to accuse someone of an offense (licensing violations) with a threat to injury someone’s property (I’ll shut down your business), with the intent to compel the person to do an act against their will (admit that you violated the rules).

To me, what the state daycare officials are doing is functionally equivalent to extortion. Their conduct is especially egregious given that they’re state actors and individuals have an equal right to protection under the law. i.e., state officials can’t go around arbitrarily denying or revoking daycare licenses. We all have an equal footing when it comes to getting a state license.

When the state daycare officials show up and make threats, the daycare provider is left with no good option. Even if they’re completely innocent of the accusations against them, their options are to agree to the violations with a signature or go out of business for months, spend thousands of dollars to fight the charges and then hope to reopen. If they agree to the violations, it only makes it all the easier for the state to shut them down in the future because well, you agreed that you broke these rules in the past. State officials are putting daycare workers under duress and making a mockery of their own enforcement system.

Shouldn’t a Press Release Actually Provide Information?

In the Olosky case, daycare officials have accused her of failing to provide adequate attendance records, failing to provide truthful information and failing to provide appropriate sleep equipment. What they don’t say is how Olosky allegedly violated any of these regulations or what the regulations are. What attendance records are required? How did Olosky fail to meet that standard? What sleep equipment is required and how did Olosky fail to provide what she should have provided?

Even criminal press releases actually talk about what the person did to break the law. The press release from the daycare officials just spews accusations. Without more information, the public doesn’t have any information to form an opinion about whether the violations likely occurred or not. Olosky also doesn’t have the information she needs in order to respond publicly in a meaningful way. A press release that spews broad generalizations about conclusory misconduct says nothing.

Why is a Press Release Even Necessary?

The next question is why the press release is even necessary. Olosky was already ordered to inform all of the parents who use the daycare. In any event, they were going to figure it out when they showed up for daycare and the doors were closed. How does informing the public with only sweeping generalizations and no actual information, help anyone or anything?

Shouldn’t an Emergency Shutdown Be an Emergency?

Back to the press release. They accuse Olosky of failing to provide attendance records, failing to provide truthful information and failing to provide adequate sleep equipment. What they don’t do is articulate how any of these behaviors warrants an emergency shutdown. An emergency shutdown is supposed to be so bad that the kids’ life and limbs are in peril if the daycare continues to operate in the time it takes to wait for a hearing. How does not having attendance records put a child’s life at risk?

When you google Michigan daycare emergency shutdown, you read about emergency shutdowns in other parts of the state for a child’s deathassault against a child, more death, and pretty much just for death. So why does a Northern Michigan daycare shut over attendance records? That doesn’t sound like a true emergency. It sounds like the locals don’t have enough to do and they’re trying to look busy.

Why Don’t they Allow for Emergency Hearings?

When the state removes a child from their home and places the child in foster care, the parents have a right to a preliminary hearing within 24 hours. So why do daycare providers have to wait months to have their hearings? They’re not allowed to provide daycare while they wait for their hearings. In the meantime, the state gets what they want, which is a shutdown and revenge for the daycare provider not signing the agreement to the allegations of violation. There’s no motivation for the state to provide timely hearings. If the daycare provider had a right to a hearing within 24 hours of an emergency shutdown, state officials would be more careful about making sure that their ducks were in a row before they issued an emergency shut down. Daycare providers would also have an avenue for relief from false accusations.

Under both U.S. and Michigan law, you have a right to something called due process of law. That means that the state can’t put you in jail, take your property, or in this case take a state license without giving you notice of the reason and an opportunity to be heard. To put it another way, the state doesn’t just get to decide without giving you a chance to present a defense. That’s why you have a right to advance notice and the right to present a defense if you’re charged with committing a crime. It’s also why you have a right to an emergency hearing with 24 hours if the state removes your children from your care. The state can act in an emergency situation, but they also have to give you your day in court as soon as they can and with a meaningful opportunity for you to present a defense. With the state just shuttering doors, they’re likely violating the due process rights of the daycare operators who depend on their services to earn a living.

What Should Happen

When the state wants to summarily shut down a daycare, there should be an administrative emergency hearing within 24 hours, weekends and holidays excluded. The burden should be on the state to prove that the shutdown is necessary until a full hearing can be held because there would be a significant risk to the wellbeing of the children if the daycare were allowed to continue to operate until a full hearing. While the state can put out a press release, they cannot threaten to put out a press release unless a daycare worker agrees to admit to a violation. Daycare licensing officials should stop that practice immediately. If the administrative hearing worker finds that the summary shutdown is without any reasonable, arguable merit, the state should have to reimburse the daycare worker for their lost income for the period of the shutdown. All state daycare licensing officials should receive continued training about the appropriate use of their roles and their authority under the law.

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20 thoughts on “Northern Michigan Daycare Authorities Shutter Another Daycare”

  1. Part of the reason for the daycare shortage is the licensing regulations and the enforcement of them. It’s very black and white, no room for any discussion or individual case exemption. Rules and regulations are necessary for safety sake, but some of the inspectors write you up for seemingly minor infractions and deny license renewals. Very frustrating!

    1. A little girl was sent to the hospital because of her lack of supervision. The doctors called cps. Let’s keep that in perspective.

      1. What exactly happened to the little girl that was solely because of lack of supervision. Not every single incident a child has is preventable. Things happen at daycares, things happen at schools. A lot of doctors have to call CPS as a mandatory precaution.

      2. The main point is that daycare providers are not getting due process. Licensing isn’t allowing providers to get their day in Court before losing our businesses.

        1. From the report, she had multiple occasions over many weeks to correct issues, reach out for assistance from Licensing or tell the truth. She had her opportunity to prevent this.

      3. Maybe they should check the parents and the daycares the little girl attended sneaking things happen at home

  2. “How does not having attendance records put a child’s life at risk?”

    …If the provider exceeds attendance ratios (# children : # adults) then the safety of the children in their care is at risk.

  3. What happen to being guilty a 100 % guilty the cps needs more training , The things they are accusing the day care should ask the parents that have there children go there and has there been violations before .i am sure they have have years of taking care of children and no violations

  4. I know several people in the daycare business who are all concerned about the same issue. They are also afraid to speak up for fear of retribution. This is not the American way. They are considering leaving the daycare business due to the stress of living under the constant fear of a citation and loosing their licenses.

    I think agencies that regulate daycare facilities feel that they have to give out citations in order to justify their existence. I’ve seen this same phenomenon with the IRS when they do an audit on personal or business taxes. They have to find something wrong or they aren’t doing their job.

    The issue that upsets me is when agencies give out citations in the absence is real evidence of an infraction. What happened to “innocent until actually proven guilty?” Not only this, but I’ve heard daycare providers being threatened further action if they don’t sign or agree to the citation. These poor people are working and living in constant fear.

    Agencies that lookout for the safety and wellbeing of our children should also be looking out for the daycare provider. These people work very long hours, much longer hours that most 8am-5pm workers, and they are paid much less. They care for our most precious possession, our children. We should be doing everything we can to make their lives easier while also protecting our children.

  5. This is the most misleading “blog” I’ve ever read.

    1st, the press release provides the operator’s name, which, thanks to the internet, allows you to search LARA and see the licensing reports. Read it yourself here:

    2nd, this was a special investigation, likely initiated by a concerned party.

    3rd, this has nothing to do with an unwillingness to sign a piece of paper. This is about maintaining a safe environment for children which this provider did not do. Additionally, she lied to the investigator repeatedly and was caught in those lies through questioning of others.

    The most concerning fact, beyond inappropriate ratios, or leaving children with other caregivers who’ve not had background checks, is that she didn’t have an operative phone!

    From the report: “On 09/22/2017, at the on-site inspection, Ms. Olosky did not
    have immediate access to an operable telephone.”

    Do your research, it’s easy. Don’t make up stories or believe everything you hear.

    1. Also there is more to that story as well,and again if allowed due process of law, we would find out, if she had time to respond she could have acted, again how do you know that one report is accurate. The point is she was not given her day in court to explain and bring her evidence. The divorce proceeding are also public record and you can find information about her phone there. The point is the government. Is breaking their laws, the children are not endanger by missing paper work, or even a missing phone, she also got her phone back working in the same day. Point is daycare providers are not treated like every other American citizen. Due process of law. Can you name any other business that is threatend more than a daycare provider with jail and losing their business.

      1. Why can’t adults accept responsibility for their actions. What are we teaching our kids about it’s never my fault? Regulations are spelled out, she isn’t new to them, follow them. In case of emergency, a phone is absolutely required! If circumstances were she didn’t have one, then you don’t open doors until you can get one. That is a very simple regulation to follow, one of many that we’re not.

      2. Due process? All she needed to do was provide a corrective action plan and work with her coordinator. I’d say that’s more than fair. The writer of this blog fails to state their resource, who was likely the woman written about mad because she was shut-down. We see in the report the woman lied, so how can you trust her now? Hm? The writer clearly has an agenda.

        As for any other business? Are you kidding me?

        We can start with the food service industry. Inspections. Don’t pass = shut down until you complete corrective actions. Don’t complete them/respond? No more business. Sound familiar?

        Next, let’s look at construction. You have to be licensed, pull proper permits, adhere to the rules of the land. Un-permitted work, if caught, can lead to complete demolition, not to mention endless fines. In building you have to have inspections done; failed inspections quickly shut down the job site. Want to talk about bad, on a job site you have the local government on your case PLUS OSHA making sure you maintain a safe and clean work environment and if not, SHUT DOWN. That’s TWO departments watching.

        Are you seeing the trend here? Childcare isn’t being targeted, it’s being regulated like many other industries. Don’t like it? Vote Libertarian and push for less government involvement.

        1. The point is daycare providers are held to a higher standard than our schools and treated as though we don’t have rights. Do you know that you can be on central registry with cps and still work for Tcaps. In addition all American citizen should be allowed due process. Licensing is out of control. They abuse their power and make dealing with them intimidating and challenging. I’ve been through the licensing game. I do not trust them in any way. Also every person can make an error at work does that really mean you loose your job. Also as daycare providers keep in mind 6-12 families are depending on you. Unless you have been through this it’s probably hard to put yourself in the situation. You would assume it’s a fair and logical process and I’m telling you it’s not. I can prove it.

    2. Do you find it odd that over the years there are hardly any citations and then on the day she filed for divorce someone called her in to Licensing? Also the day her phone was shut off? It doesn’t so much sound like a concerned party but maybe more like an action to try to ruin her livilihood and for custody reasons.
      If you are doing your research you should review her divorce records. Her husband was ordered by the Courts to give back her records (attendance, statements, checks required by Licensing).

  6. Rules and Regulations are black and white. She’s been in business over 10 years and she’s well aware of them. They really aren’t that difficult to follow. The reports from the State are available to read so you know exactly how many times the State reached out to her and the families and witnesses – multiple! She lied about many things, in that report, as well as she’s been over ratio for years. There are witnesses to those lies. She puts on a wonderful front to the community and parents, but behind closed door and once the parents leave watch out! I know too many families afraid to speak up, talk to past clients. I’m glad somebody finally did.

    1. Totally agree! she has to be held liable for her actions. The truth has finally come out and bit her in the butt. Investigations on previous allegations were last fall, that means there are new circumstances that have arisen to give licensing the need to close her doors. I would want to know if my children were there what goes on. And unless you look up on LARA occasionally you would never know the truth about the daycare. Do your research when looking for high quality care for your most valuable possessions.

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