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Bright from the Start revokes license of Douglas child care center following death of infant

Akim Academy with the Letter of Revocation on the door.
Akim Academy with the Letter of Revocation on the door.(WALB)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT
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DOUGLAS, Ga. (WALB) - The Child Care Services Division of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) has revoked the license of Akim Academy in Douglas after a 9-month-old died in May.

Background:

During its investigation, Bright From the Start found the infant, after being dropped off the morning of May 3, was “engaged in an inappropriate-age activity where (it) had access to an item too small” and which was “capable of causing asphyxiation or strangulation,” prior to its death, according to the closure order.

That item was found to be a dried pinto bean, which was in a sensory bowl that “included dried pinto beans, hair bows, pacifiers and rubber balls” the infant was given, the order states.

Bright from the Start reported that later that day, the child suffered a heart attack while waiting for treatment and was then airlifted to a hospital in Savannah. A peanut-shaped item was found in the child’s throat and surgery was attempted.

“The attempts to remove the blockage caused the obstructive item to break into pieces,” according to an order from Bright from the Start. “After three attempts to remove the blockage from the infant’s airway, the infant died.”

On June 3, Bright from the Start issued the license revocation for Akim Academy.

In a notice of revocation, Bright from the Start lists 11 rule violations as the reason for revoking the academy’s license.

The notice of revocation says Bright from the Start “determined that there were uncorrectable abuses, derelictions or deficiencies in the operation and management of the Child Care Learning Center which were brought to the attention of the license holder.”

Below is a copy of the notice of revocation from Bright from the Start to Akim Academy (redacted):

“The provider (Akim Academy) has 10 days to appeal the revocation to an administrative law judge with the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH),” a statement from Bright from the Start reads.

“If the license holder does not appeal this action within 10 days of receipt of this Notice, the decision to revoke your license will be final. Licensure staff will conduct a follow-up visit to verify closure,” the notice of revocation from Bright from the Start to Akim Academy states.

Below is a copy of the statement from Bright from the Start in reference to the license revocation (redacted):

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