By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The state Department of Early Learning (DEL) has temporarily suspended the license of a West Seattle in-home day care after the death of a baby this week.
We have been looking into this since a reader asked about a major medical response at a home in Westwood at midday this past Monday; later, two other readers e-mailed to ask about rumors they had heard of a death at a local day care. This afternoon, we confirmed with three local and state agencies that an investigation is under way.
The Seattle Fire Department told WSB that, when called to 8801 31st SW, a licensed home day care, at 10:37 am this past Monday, medics found a 4-month-old boy undergoing CPR and that it continued as they rushed the baby to Children’s Hospital “in life-threatening condition,” according to spokesperson Kyle Moore.
The county Medical Examiner has not announced the death in its daily media releases, so we don’t know the baby’s name or cause of death.
But DEL confirmed today that there was “a fatality” at the day care on Monday, and that they ordered it to close on Tuesday, its license suspended until further notice, while that fatality was investigated. That’s standard practice, said DEL spokesperson Mark Varadian.
The DEL’s “Child Care Check“ website shows the day care at 8801 31st SW is licensed for up to 12 children. Its online records go back to 2008 and show “no valid complaints” made against the facility.
DEL pointed us to another state agency, Children’s Administration/Child Protective Services, where spokesperson Kathleen Spears said CPS’s Division of Licensed Resources is investigating, but that it is only a “risk assessment” type of investigation at this point: “In some cases when there are no allegations of abuse or neglect, DLR can conduct a risk assessment at the home or facility to ensure other children there are safe and secure. This is the type of investigation DSHS is currently conducting at the day care.”
Spears suggested we contact Seattle Police, whose spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler said, “The Seattle Police Department is investigating this incident. Given the potentially highly sensitive nature of the event, all that we can say is our detectives are working with the King County Medical Examiner to investigate the incident as thoroughly as possible.”
No one we spoke to could give us a timetable for how long the investigation might take. For now, this is all the information we have. We will follow up whenever anything additional is available.