Police investigate infant death at unlicensed day care

L'Espoir started an application for a license but never completed it

L'Espoir is an unlicensed day care in Portland, November 16, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The death of a 5-month-old at an unlicensed Southwest Portland day care has prompted an investigation.

The baby died Monday, Nov. 13, at L’Espoir Preschool of the Arts, a French-speaking preschool with programs for babies age 6 weeks-2 years and toddlers 2-5 years.

Portland police are investigating the death, but no foul play is suspected at this time. The medical examiner will determine what caused the infant’s death.

The Early Learning Division’s Office of Child Care told KOIN 6 News L’Espoir Preschool has been cited 3 times for providing care without a license. The most recent citation was in March 2017, at which time a licence application process was started but never finished, a spokeswoman said.

State records show the license and status of L’Espoir are “illegal care”

Cheryl Scollo, who works across the street at etc…Eatery on SW Virginia, said she saw the emergency response from the outside. At first she said there was a fire truck and an ambulance there, but those 2 left, leaving about 6 police cars, which stayed at the scene for hours.

“I know there was a preschool there,” Scollo said. “So, I was a little worried — a little sad. I didn’t know what to think about it. Definitely a little heartbroken.”

Here’s a history of the complaint’s between the Office of Child Care and  L’Espoir:

  • November 28, 2016: OCC received a complaint about illegal care and found the facility was providing care for more than 3 kids without a license. The provider said it was 2 separate businesses, and it would separate the kids into 2 classrooms. OCC issues valid finding.
  • March 3, 2017: OCC received a complaint about illegal care and confirmed with a visit there were indeed 7 children and no license. Issued a valid finding.
  • March 16, 2017: Follow up visit by OCC; provider indicated it was in the process of submitting a license application. OCC issued valid finding for continuing to provide illegal care. Did not take further action since license application process was underway.
  • March 27, 2017: Pre-licensing visit, facility was in compliance and working on license application.
  • April 4, 2017: OCC receives license application

The Office of Child care wants parents to know they should be checking if their day care center is licensed. Parents can call 1.800.556.6616 to check on the license or history of a facility.