West Seattle day care’s license suspended after baby’s death

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.

26 Replies to "West Seattle day care's license suspended after baby's death"

  • RG August 1, 2014 (7:45 pm)

    Please. If you are going to comment, please please I beg of you all to take care with your comments. I plead of you to withhold saying anything, including conjecture, that could possibly cause hurt to anyone.

  • Bonnie August 1, 2014 (8:05 pm)

    I’m so sorry for everybody involved. The baby, the parents, anybody working at the childcare facility. This is so sad.

  • Seaview August 1, 2014 (8:20 pm)

    My deepest thoughts of peace to the family and all affected by this baby’s death.

  • Andi August 1, 2014 (8:28 pm)

    My heart and deepest sympathies go out to all involved, especially to the child’s family.

  • EmmyJane August 1, 2014 (9:03 pm)

    My thoughts are with the family at this time. I am so sad for you.

  • Jason August 1, 2014 (9:18 pm)

    What a heart-breaking situation for everyone involved. I’m terribly sorry to hear this.

  • heather August 1, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    My deepest condolences.

  • Jena August 1, 2014 (9:59 pm)

    As a home daycare provider in West Seattle for the past ten years, it is my worst nightmare that a child could be hurt under my care. My thoughts and prayers go out to family, staff, and also the other children in their care.

  • alki Resident August 1, 2014 (11:16 pm)

    Im so so sorry to hear this news. My heart breaks for the parents of this baby. I couldn’t even to begin to imagine the pain they will be going through. If there is anything you need from the community, please let the blog know. Prayers for all involved including the firemen who had to respond to this scene. I know you went home and hugs your kids tighter that day.

  • Sarah August 1, 2014 (11:25 pm)

    I am so deeply saddened to hear of this – my heart goes out to this family xxx
    RG I really appreciate your sensitivity and your kind but firm request that comments be kept sensitive to the fact that people will be hurting in different and unknown ways. What a lovely gesture.

  • ajt August 1, 2014 (11:56 pm)

    As a father of a child that attends the daycare, this facility has done nothing short of the best for my child. Deepest sympathy to the parents.

  • Shannon August 2, 2014 (2:18 am)

    As a close friend of the family involved, I wanted to say that everything I’ve heard has said that the day care did everything right, they bear no blame in this, and that the death was due to medical reasons (not my place to specify), not any negligence on their part.

    I’d hate for a respected business to be harmed unnecessarily by unfounded rumors. My deepest condolences to the staff that worked so hard to save him. Thank you for trying.

  • Lox August 2, 2014 (8:21 am)

    My heart breaks for all involved. Prayers going up.

  • Lolapop August 2, 2014 (9:19 am)

    My heart is breaking for this family…. And for the day care. Can you tell me the point of publishing this story? It seems like a very private affair. Especially since it sounds like the day care is at no fault.

  • G August 2, 2014 (9:33 am)

    The discretion by readers is really a breath of fresh air. Wish we could observe the same for other local stories. The slope between news and gossip is a slippery one.

    • WSB August 2, 2014 (10:27 am)

      To answer Lolapop’s question: Almost everything reported here – and at every other news organization where I have worked – begins with a question from someone in the community. Or two. Or more. When the questions arrived that led to this report – first, from neighbors/passersby asking why was there a major fire/medical response at this address, and then, from people who said they “heard” there was a death at a local day care and asking what we knew about it – I didn’t know what I would find. When I found by day’s end yesterday that multiple government agencies were investigating a death involving a local state-licensed facility, whose license had been suspended while they investigate, I didn’t feel that was information that could/should be withheld. You might disagree. I respect that. I tried to write this as simply and plainly as I could, because that is what we do – we present information, rather than try to sensationalize it. My commitment, as with so much of what we report, is to follow up on this, and when there is a final determination, report that, simply and plainly, too. – Tracy

  • Afsi August 2, 2014 (9:36 am)

    RG – thank you. You started this thread off perfectly.

    Shannon – as a mother who lost a newborn in 2010, I have every idea what your friends family is going through and will be dealing with in the future. I can make myself available to them via phone, email or in person. The agony of something like this is rarely “understood” by even the most well-meaning and ultra sensitive of people, as all of you wonderful commenters here. I have resources and other parents networks to help see them through this tragedy. Please let me know if we can exchange info.

    There are no words in circumstances such as these. Love, patience, and gentle thoughts to all involved.

  • sam-c August 2, 2014 (9:54 am)

    incredibly heartbreaking for all involved. my deepest sympathies to the family, those working at the day care, and other families at the daycare (since they probably feel some connection to the affected family).

  • Coco August 2, 2014 (11:35 am)

    I’m a neighbor and saw infant being worked on last Monday. I very much appreciate knowing what happened, Tracy. I’m so sorry for everyone involved. Now there is a tv reporter outside their home. This sucks.

  • Aaron B August 2, 2014 (11:50 am)

    An FYI: KIRO is in the neighborhood looking for people to comment on the incident. I turned them away, because I had no information and didn’t want to stick my nose in on this. Just an FYI to other Westwood area residents that there’s a camera crew about on this.

  • Patti August 2, 2014 (12:16 pm)

    I am also a family home child care provider in
    West Seattle for the past 27 years. Our prayers go out to family, provider, staff, and to all connected.

  • ET August 2, 2014 (4:46 pm)

    Kiro van is parked right now in front of my house (I’m a neighbor of the care provider). They wanted to get some comments on camera. No Thank You! I will not help local news cobble together their pointless conjecture.

  • TM August 2, 2014 (7:10 pm)

    KIRO stopped by our house, as well, as we live on the same block….refused their interview as I don’t want things that I don’t even know about to be misrepresented. The daycare people are lovely neighbors. I can’t imagine the loss the family is dealing with right now.

  • Wsrez August 2, 2014 (8:34 pm)

    So sad. Prayers and thoughts go out to the family.

  • Krista August 3, 2014 (8:49 am)

    My heart is aching as I know what the family is going through. The death of a child is life-changing in a way that cannot be comprehended. Praying for their peace and comfort.
    SHANNON- a few resources for the parents, when they’re ready.

  • Joanne Brayden August 3, 2014 (11:48 am)

    Once again I find myself proud of the behavior of my neighbors..
    Tragedies are times for us all to pull together
    And we have

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