KIDDIE ACADEMY Franchisees Under Fire

(UnhappyFranchisee.com) Sexual Assault.  Infant Neglect. Dangerously Unsanitary Conditions.  You name it, Kiddie Academy franchise owners are under fire for it.

(Also read: KIDDIE ACADEMY Franchise Complaints)

Franchisee-of-the-year charged with sexual assault of a child

In 2008, Louis Himber was recognized as a Kiddie Academy Franchisee of the Year. Now he’s been charged with sexual assault on a child over a six year period.

In 2008, the Derry News story read:  “The owners of Kiddie Academy of Windham… was honored by the premier child care providing company with the Franchisee of the Year award for exceeding Kiddie Academy standards and maintaining awareness of best practices in the early education and child care industry.   The ownership group for Kiddie Academy of Windham consists of Kevin Himber, Lou Himber and Karen Flaherty Himber, Dan and Beverly Kennedy and Dale and Carole Tipple.”

The Windham Kiddy Academy is back in the news.  The August 13, 2011 edition of the Eagle Tribune reads:

Louis Himber, 44, formerly of Londonderry and a co-owner of Kiddie Academy daycare center in Windham, was recently indicted on seven charges by a Rockingham Superior Court grand jury.

The child, who is now 13, was sexually assaulted in Londonderry on multiple occasions between March 2004 and March 2011, according to the indictments. Himber faces five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, a felony punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison for each count.

Himber also was indicted on a simple assault charge for punching the child in the arm, a misdemeanor, and a second-degree assault charge for trying to strangle the victim’s mother, the indictments said. Those alleged incidents occurred this year.

Himber’s attorney, Mark Howard, and Kiddie Academy spokeswoman Wendy Odell Magus both maintain that franchisee Himber is solely an "investor" in the business and never worked there. They claim no children at the center were ever in danger.  However, a court order specifically bars Himber from going to the daycare.

This tragedy is one more blow to the reputation of the Kiddy Academy daycare franchise chain. 

5 month old infant dies under care of Kiddie Academy Staten Island

According to a CBS story, on March 25, 2011 5 month-old Jeremy Davlias was dropped off at the Staten Island Kiddie Academy.  The workers there called 911 when they noticed Jeremy was having trouble breathing, but it was too late.  Little Jeremy was dead by the time he reached the hospital.

CBS states that the parents blame Kiddie Academy:

The Davlias said they believe Jeremy would not have died if the facility had done its job.

“I think Jeremy would’ve still been here with us, absolutely,” Oscar said. “There is no question in my mind that he still would’ve been here with us.”

So do the Davlias’ attorney:

“Some of the things that went on here are simply beyond comprehension,” the family’s attorney, Marc Albert, said. “How did nobody take a look at this kid for three hours and ten minutes, especially when they knew he was sick?”

Parents claim the unsanitary conditions at the South Hills, WV Kiddy Academy caused their child to contract mycoplasma.

In January, 2011,  The South Hills, WV Kiddie Academy was shut down for unsanitary conditions.  Parents Kristina Russell and Christopher Aldrich filed a lawsuit claiming Kiddie Academy,  claiming their infant has suffered from mycoplasma, an organism contracted by fecal matter coming into contact with the mouth.

According to the lawsuit, Russell and Aldrich’s child was two years old when he began attending Kiddie Academy in March 2010. The lawsuit claims that Kiddie Academy’s "unsafe and unsanitary conditions," include mold growth in the ceiling, on walls and around the kitchen sink; rodent droppings in multiple locations that included kitchen cabinets and utensil drawers, gnats in the kitchen, food rinsed in a kitchen sink that was not washed nor sanitized; staff members washing their hands after diaper changes in sinks where baby bottles were washed; no hand washing sinks near the diaper changing tables; dirty, stagnant water in the mop bucket and dirty diapers stored in open containers.”

The lawsuit claims that, as a result of these conditions, Russell and Aldrich’s child suffered "serious and permanent neurological injuries, including temporary blindness with a severe visual deficit."  The family is seeking the $500,000 in medical expenses they’ve incurred, as well as punitive damages, attorney fees and interest.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH KIDDIE ACADEMY?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

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