Faith-based day care abruptly closes, under DCF investigation

Parents scrambling to find child care
Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 20:21:08-04

Dozens of Manatee county parents are now scrambling to find child care after their day care abruptly shut its doors Tuesday. 

The front door sign at No Limits Learning Academy offers an apology, but no explanation about why the Bradenton day care closed.

ABC Action News has confirmed, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families is now investigating allegations of child neglect. 

One parent, who did not want to be identified, shared the frantic message she received Tuesday from the day care's director. 

"Hello dear parents, we found ourselves under investigation and need all of our families to come pick up the children as soon as possible. Thank you so much."

According to DCF, the facility is licensed to care for up to 119 children. 

The parent we spoke with says she's now trying to figure out where to go next. A tough assignment for any parent working two jobs.

"Everything that they already knew, they have watched her grow up and they've already established everything with her, I have to go and see if I can trust other people to do the same," she said. "I have to find a new day care overnight."

Investigators are not releasing any specifics, only confirming they issued an order banning director JoAnn Erickson from any contact with day care children for up to 90 days. That forced the day care to close.

"This is just up to 90-days it could change today or next week," MCSO spokesperson Dave Bristow.

"They're not bad people," the parent told ABC Action News. "They're not intentionally doing things wrong and I'm still shocked and floored."

ABC Action News reached out the director of No Limits Learning Academy, but have not heard back. 

“The safety of the children at the facility is our top priority. We are working closely with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office CPI Division as we determine next steps for the future licensure of the facility,” said Natalie Harrell, a regional spokesperson for DCF. “We will take any action necessary to ensure the safety of children at the day care."