State cites Leland Christian Academy for inadequate supervision, child-staff ratios violations

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A complaint about inadequate supervision and child-staff ratios at a Leland daycare led to a recent surprise visit by the state. 

While investigating these allegations, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services cited Leland Christian Academy for two violations in an October 12 visit.

According to NCDHHS, the daycare did not meet the minimum staff and child ratio in the two-year-old room after a staff report showed a teacher was left alone supervising 16 children one afternoon.

On October 7, the state reports one staff member was discovered laying on the floor with her eyes closed during nap time. The staff member was in the room along with four one-year-olds.

Mother and former PTU Treasurer Amanda Fontana said she found the teacher asleep and expressed concerned for her children’s safety.

“She was sleeping on the floor with the kids,” Fontana said to WWAY. “Were there any other teachers in the room watching the children?” “No. I can’t even work full-time while I have a two and three-year-old running around. So I think that’s a little scary.”

She said the final straw was on Friday when she claims LCA fired two teachers in front of her daughter’s two-year-old classroom.

“The Board had fired both of her teachers. And that they were making phone calls to about 16 families telling them that they don’t have daycare,” Fontana said.

In a message sent from Leland Christian Academy to parents, LCA had to close one of their two-year-old preschool classrooms due to lack of staffing.

According to Fontana and parents, who wished to remain anonymous, parents were never told why two teachers were fired in front of the entire two-year-old class.

When asked, they said that the teacher was a danger to the children,” Fontana explained.

She asked why the teachers were a danger, and if anything had happened to her children.

“The Board told us that was personnel issues and it was unprofessional to disclose those. Even though they were telling me my kids were in danger.”

Fontana then decided to remove her children from LCA.

“I couldn’t sleep at night. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that that went on in front of my child, and I don’t know who is going to be watching her, I don’t even know over the next few weeks.”

Luckily, Fontana and her husband were able to make arrangements to work from home and watch their two young children. It’s a luxury not everyone has.

“There’s single parents,” Fontana said. “There’s parents in healthcare. There’s parents in education, in law enforcement, they can’t work from home.”

WWAY reached out to Leland Christian Academy to ask about the latest DHHS visit, however they repeatedly told us no comment.

LCA is also hiring an administrator. During a follow up visit by the state, LCA was told a qualified administrator needs to be hired in a timely manner.

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