Fate of four Kid's Country sites remains unknown

Meeting set between state, day care officials

The four Kid's Country facilities threatened for closure by the California Department of Social Services are in limbo until a meeting between the day care center and state officials.

The date of the meeting is confidential, according to CDSS spokesman Michael Weston, who said at this point, the state is still seeking to close the four sites, at Country Club and Bollinger Canyon elementary schools in San Ramon, and Greenbrook and Green Valley elementary schools in Danville.

"When you get an accusation, the intention of the department is to take the license," Weston said. However, he added there are several different outcomes possible. Weston said the CDSS could close the four facilities, put them on probation or take no action.

Last month, Kid's Country Executive Director, Chris Erbe promised the facilities in San Ramon would not lose their licenses.

Erbe said Kid's Country is negotiating with officials from the California Department of Social Services (DCSS) and will agree to additional safeguards - safeguards he said were put into place voluntarily by Kid's Country before it received a license revocation notice from CDSS.

"They have no intention of shutting down Kid's Country. That was stated to us," Erbe said. He said a settlement with the state that would prevent the four locations from closing is expected before the end of summer.

According to the state's accusation, two first graders were left outside Kid's Country's Country Club Elementary site when the others were brought inside last August. The two walked home. The accusation also says that same month, two 8-year-olds were left on the playground without supervision at the Kid's Country site at Bollinger Canyon Elementary. The state accusation claims staff member "failed to follow school procedures in place and conduct a head count before returning to the classroom."

In January 2010, a 6-year-old was left alone in a bathroom at Green Valley Elementary while others moved to a different classroom. According to the state accusation, the child "exited the campus and started to walk down the sidewalk on his way home."

The accusation also says a similar incident occurred in September 2008 at Greenbrook Elementary, when two children, aged nine and 10, "left the school undetected and walked home."

Erbe said Kid's Country has taken steps to prevent any other youngsters from walking away from any of the 13 facility it operates, including the purchase of walkie talkies for all on-site employees.

He said Kid's Country is also removing assistant directors from child-care responsibilities, freeing them up to respond to trouble, and pointed out that the organization also has taken disciplinary actions - including suspending without pay or firing - against the worker involved in the incidents.

Erbe also noted that all of the incidents cited by CDSS were reported to the agency by Kid's Country itself.


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Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 5, 2011 at 9:53 am

Once again, Mr. Erbe proves himself to be a convenient liar. Kids' Country did NOT report a February 2011 Level A violation themselves. The violations keep piling up and so do the excuses.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Kids Country has been a wonderful afterschool program for years. It is their competition, the "Growing Room" that should be investigated.

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Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Typical KC response, "look a squirrel!" Always trying to deflect and/or blame others. The facts are the facts. Five known Level A violations. It is what it is. You can't hide anymore.

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Posted by Outspoken is a hater
a resident of Danville
on Jul 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm


Do you have a financial interest in a competitor to KC? How many children do you have in KC? FIVE violations in how many years? So, statistically that means what? Or is that over your head? How many kids, on a daily basis are treated with respect, dignity and with clear guidelines at the KC locations? My children DO attend one of the KCs that has a violation. They told us about it. They dealt with it. Get over yourself. Go find another book to burn or witch to stone. There's nothing to see here.

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Posted by Outspoken
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 6, 2011 at 8:53 am

Outspoken is a hater - Wow. Original name and so mature. No, I have no financial interest in any competitor of KC. My child was indeed in KC. Your numbers logic makes no sense. It would be like an airliner saying that, "We only lost a few hundred people in the latest crash. We have so many people that fly with us so that number really doesn't matter." or PGE saying that they serve so many customers that the San Bruno explosion "goes with the territory." YOUR statistics are preposterous. ANY level A violation in a childcare facility is TOO much. It is the HIGHEST level violation that the state can use. If it were your child, you might feel differently. I am glad that you have not had issues and that your children have been treated well. This is about awareness. Knowing the company that cares for children and making the choice that is best for you. I just love the way that if anyone speaks out against KC they are accused of a witch hunt. The truth hurts. There is something to see here by the way. Your Jedi training has failed you if you can't see that.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

I am not sure exactly what Outspoken's real problem might be, perhaps they might enlighten us to their true cause of angst. This person just goes on and on, months upon months disparaging KC.

I would suggest Outspoken locate a new afterschool program for their child, and move on!

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Posted by Out is a Hater
a resident of Danville
on Jul 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

If there are 100 kids @ our kids' country on a daily basis-and let's say 250 days/year. That means 25,000 interactions in a year @ one site. If during the said year, ONE violation occurs that's ONE in 25000. I like those odds. I know there's a risk every time I fly-but it's still safer than driving. PG&E was negligent on a much larger scale than KC-so your David v Goliath comparison is off the chart.

If you don't want to be attacked-don't attack Chris Erbe. I have no idea who this man is (outside of being the KC Director) and frankly I don't care. The men and women who work at our KC are awesome. One mistake does not lead to a causal relationship that an entire system is bad. Do you always throw the baby out with the bath water?

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Posted by Danville Guy
a resident of Danville
on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

Is there any update on this situation?

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