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Judge forces Macon daycare center to close

Parents at a Macon daycare center will have to find a place for their kids--at least for the next 21 days.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Parents at a Macon daycare center will have to find a place for their kids--at least for the next 21 days.
   
Thursday, a state judge ordered Charlotte's Webb Learning Center on Napier Avenue to close after finding a child had been left alone in a daycare van for about four hours.

"The parents are their child's voice," said Brittany Battle.

If Brittany Battle hadn't listened to her five-year-old son's voice about what happened at Charlotte's Webb Learning Center that day...

"You need to listen to it and check it out and see what's going on," said Battle.

She may have never known his scary story.

He was locked in a van for hours nearly two weeks ago, according to his mother, screaming for help.

"I asked him several times how he got out of the van. He said he used his muscles," said Battle.

Thursday a state judge said the story lined up in the court's opinion, and the staff had to close down the center, which serves about 40 kids daily.

"April the 14th, the staff did not do the check properly," said Jerneicey Brown.

A check director of the center Jerneicey Brown says normally occurs.

"We have a staff that brings the children in that does a first check, and a second staff that also comes out and rechecks the van," said Brown.

But neither staff member checked well enough, and owner Charlotte Perkins took swift action.

"That night, those employees was terminated for not doing their job--not performing the check properly," said Brown.

When I asked Brown if she thought the blame fell on the owner Perkins, who is also Brown's mother, she told me she didn't think so.

"I don't think she should take the responsibility for it," said Brown. "Even though this is her center. She are responsible for her staff, but she did terminate them, the main thing is that child is okay if that child is still at the school he still gives her hugs he still tell us he love us."

Charlotte's Webb will be closed for three weeks--they closed about 5 p.m. Thursday.

Despite the quick closure Thursday afternoon--the parents had to come get their kids a little early--the hope is that these little chairs will be filled with kids very soon.

"If Charlotte's Webb was to reopen, come out. We're not a bad daycare at all. We do love the children we nurture the children," said Brown.

Battle said she'll be sending her children to a different daycare from now on.
   
When asked about future plans concerning her relationship with Charlotte's Webb, she declined to comment.
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