An after-school childcare program at San Ramon Valley elementary schools has acquired a recent history of serious "Type A" violations, according to state officials.
Four Kid's Country after school programs have been cited for violations that pose a direct and immediate risk to the health or safety of youngsters in their care – with three of those violations occurring in 2010.
"It is fairly serious," said Oscar Ramirez, spokesman for the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), which is tasked with overseeing day care centers. "A Type A violation is basically where there is an imminent danger."
Last September, two children were left outside of Kid's Club at San Ramon's Country Club Elementary School when the others were brought inside.
In August, at the center's Bollinger Canyon Elementary facility, two were left outside unsupervised.
In March 2010, two children who were left outside Kid's County's Green Valley location started walking home before being spotted. A similar case occurred in October 2008, when two children left unattended actually walked to one of their homes.
Ramirez was unable to confirm if Kid's Country is currently under investigation for violations.
"There have been several type A violations where children have walked away unsupervised," he said adding, collectively, "It raises a few eyebrows that these may be more than isolated incidents."
Contacted at his home, Kid's Country Executive Director Chris Erbe refused to comment outside business hours.
State rules require a plan of correction to be implemented within 24 hours and a $50 per-day civil penalty each day the plan isn't implemented, and a written citation is issued even if the violation occurred and is corrected during a CDSS visit.
Ramirez said parents are among CDSS's best resources.
"Anybody can file a complaint," he said. "Parents are great eyes and ears.
Ramirez said there's a great resource for parents looking into after-school care: the community care licensing division's website, which offers information on choosing a program, a link to resource and referral agency page that can point parents toward appropriate care providers and a list of responsibilities for both providers and parents.