Clairemont’s home day-care shuffle

One center cited, closes, reopens two days later

The day-care next door on March 10, before it was licensed to operate
  • The day-care next door on March 10, before it was licensed to operate

On August 10, a day-care center at 6816 Boxford Drive was closed after being open for less than four months. Two days later, it opened up again under a new name.

Janet Lancaster lives next door to the day-care located three blocks north of Balboa Avenue and a couple blocks west of Interstate 805. She first noticed something happening in February. “My previous neighbor had been in that same house for 50 years,” said Lancaster. “The day after the house sold [February 5], noisy construction began, every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., even Sundays and holidays, which isn’t allowed.”

“On March 10, I heard a child screaming bloody murder. I went over to investigate and brought my phone with me to videotape what I might encounter. There was an older woman there who spoke with a heavy accent in broken English. She tells me, ‘This is baby care’ and that she doesn’t live there.”

The Arundel Place day-care is a few blocks from the Boxford Drive day-care and where its former licensee actually lives — on Cannington.

The Arundel Place day-care is a few blocks from the Boxford Drive day-care and where its former licensee actually lives — on Cannington.

In the video, the woman also says she doesn’t know if anyone lives there and confirms that her employer runs another day-care on nearby Arundel Place.

Later that day, Narine Oganesova, the Arundel Place day-care licensee, confronted Lancaster about talking to her employee. Lancaster confronted her about running an unlicensed day-care, as she had learned from the state that a license was pending and not issued for the Boxford Drive address. Oganesova responded that her uncle [Arkadiy Aydinyan] lives in the house on Boxford.

That same day, Lancaster filed a complaint with the California Department of Social Services. Between March 15 and 21, Lancaster spoke with day-care licenser Carol Nakamura-Robinson on three occasions, as well as sent her the above-mentioned video.

“The last weekend in March, Narine’s brother-in-law Michael Kuperman brought us a bundle of chocolate bars and told my husband that he was moving in next door with his wife,” said Lancaster. Per property records, Kuperman owns the home on Boxford Drive where the day-care is located.

On April 12, Lancaster’s complaint was deemed unsubstantiated by state social services. “My mistake, I should’ve never told Narine that I reported her.”

According to Michael Weston from the California Department of Social Services, Aydinyan applied for a residential day-care license on March 3 and was licensed on April 26.

Lancaster said, “Narine put her uncle down as the licensee. He’s a 62-year-old cab driver that lives on Cannington Drive [also in Clairemont]. Narine is there [at the Boxby Drive day-care] every day, often more than once per day. I have only seen an older man there once, and I believe that was the day of the final licensing inspection.”

In May, Lancaster sent a certified letter to Aydinyan on Cannington Drive. Confirmation was returned to her, signed by Aydinyan

In May, Lancaster sent a certified letter to Aydinyan on Cannington Drive. Confirmation was returned to her, signed by Aydinyan

In May, Lancaster sent a certified letter to Aydinyan on Cannington Drive. Confirmation was returned to her, signed by Aydinyan.

On July 6, Lancaster filed another complaint, this time about the day-care being licensed improperly. Weston confirmed this complaint, saying, “On July 28, the licensee [Aydinyan] was cited for not residing in the home.”

According to Weston, to be licensed for a residential day-care, the day-care must be the licensee’s primary residence, the licensee must be the one providing the child care, and the licensee must reside there 80 percent of the time. Without the latter, it’s considered a business.

A July 28 investigation conducted by social services investigator Nakamura-Robinson reported that even though Oganesova wasn’t officially associated with the Boxford Drive day-care, she was in fact working for the day-care. For this violation, a $500 civil penalty was assessed to licensee Aydinyan. The investigator also reported that even though Aydinyan claimed to live on Boxford, his driver’s license showed a different address. The investigator also witnessed children being dropped off only with an employee, Tatyana Danilushkina, and never with Aydinyan.

According to August 4 documentation, Aydinyan was allowed to keep the day-care open while Danilushkina applied to be the new licensee, with the stipulation that Aydinyan stay for the transition and reside at Boxford 80 percent of the time.

Will this duplicity impact Oganesova’s day-care on Arundel? According to Weston, only Aydinyan got cited, not Oganesova.

Considering the misrepresentation, why was it so easy to relicense the same day-care? Weston said that as long as the process is followed and there is no wrongdoing or malfeasance on the part of the applicant, there is no problem with being licensed.

Once Danilushkina became the licensee on August 12, Aydinyan’s information was no longer accessible online with social services.

On August 17, investigator Nakamura-Robinson was at Boxford Drive to have Danilushkina sign the August 9 pre-licensing agreement. “Tatyana [Danilushkina] was cited for being out of compliance with capacity [ratio of toddlers to infants],” said Weston. “Initially, she had three infants and three toddlers when another toddler was dropped off. The investigator told her she was out of ratio and had to have someone pick up one of the toddlers. Then another parent came to drop off their toddler and the investigator sent them away.”

Additionally, the Arundel day-care had five violations in March 2016, including not having a current roster of children, exceeding capacity (15 children) and ratio of toddlers to infants, and having two day-care staff without proper fingerprint clearance (background checks).

In Clairemont, there are 28 residential child-care facilities (allowing up to 14 children) listed on the social services website. The day-care on Boxford Drive is a smaller facility (allowing up to 8 children) and not searchable unless you have the facility number in hand.

Of these 29 facilities (including the one on Boxford), 4 have been licensed since 2014. Of these 4, 2 are associated with Oganesova. Furthermore, according to property records, both homes with day-cares on Arundel and Boxford were purchased by Kuperman in 2014 and 2016, respectively. In both cases, within weeks of purchasing the homes, a day-care license was obtained.

This isn’t as unusual as it sounds, because at least 12 of the 18 homeowners (including Kuperman) that run residential day-cares in Clairemont (others are renters) opened up shop within weeks or months of purchasing homes. The oldest daycare in the area was licensed in 1982, well over a decade before it was purchased by the day-care licensee. There is more than one case of this as well.

Of the 121 violations cited at these 29 facilities, 63 were considered immediate threats (Type A) and 58 were cited as possible threats (Type B). Only one day-care had zero citations, while the rest had between 1 and 14. More than one-third of the day-cares were cited in 2016.

Type A citations (immediate threats) for these Clairemont day-cares included staff and tenants with no background checks, infants being left outside unsupervised, too many children, too little staff, a child in a swing with a milk bottle propped up by a blanket (choking hazard), dangerous places not barricaded (stairs, pools, fireplaces, electrical outlets), dangerous things left out (razors, knives, tools, sharp kitchen utensils, propane tanks, medicine, household cleaners), and lack of carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

Type B citations (possible threats) included a child sleeping in a bouncy chair, unsafe toys and equipment, incomplete records, trampolines accessible to toddlers, CPR/first-aid training expired, and lack of documented fire drills.

One facility was investigated in March due to a report that day-care staff had kicked a child. This case resulted in an investigator noting that it may have happened but that there wasn’t enough evidence to say for sure.

Details for all violations cited were not available online.

For 13 of the day-cares, the last noted visit by investigators was between 2013 and 2015. One day-care that had five Type A citations in one July 2015 visit notes its last visit in August 2015.

Lancaster, meanwhile, is unhappy that the day-care next door has been relicensed.

“You shouldn’t be able to operate a day-care business in a residential neighborhood. If you want to run a day-care, go rent a commercial facility.”

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Comments

Don't worry. Our cracked city council member won't do any thing about it any ways. Do what the hell you want went you want. There is no code enforcement any more in Clairemont and anything goes. Cates is a waste of time and money!

So after all the gobbeldy goody good language about licensing, non licensing, who owns the house, who lives in the house...is there any complaint about how the children are treated? Do their parents have any issue with the child care provided?

Three issues: why do we have to wait for something bad to happen before taking action? What level of injury or neglect is acceptable before deciding corrective action should be taken?

Second, this deliberate gaming of the system allows those who are unqualified to unfairly compete against those daycare providers who follow the rules and do their best to ensure safety and accountability. Placing your child with someone who isn't legitimate not only increases the risk to them but also means parents have little or no recourse against the operators, as this article reveals a typically tangled legal responsibility.

Finally, legitimate daycare providers aren't just babysitting, they're preparing children for preschool and kindergarten during the most critically formative years of their lives. Unlicensed providers are already cutting the other corners to make a buck; are you willing to risk your child's future that they aren't cutting this corner as well?

"Finally, legitimate daycare providers aren't just babysitting, they're preparing children for preschool and kindergarten during the most critically formative years of their lives."

Preparing for preschool and kindergarten? Is that a joke?

Here's an idea: raise your own kids. They need YOU "during the most critically formative years," not some stranger who is ultimately in it for the money.

Ideally, most young children would benefit from having a family member instead of "a stranger" take care of them during the work day--which as the term indicates is what 'daycare' actually is, not 'raising' them with all that involves. (Or do you want to claim that parents are slobs for giving up on parenting from ages 6-18 because they slack off by sending their kids to school to be 'raised' by teachers?)

But rather than make that mild positive claim, instead you chose to demonize the one-third of all parents* who can't or don't count on a family member to watch their children while at work.

Or wait, no. Maybe I missed your point Thank you for endorsing universal work leave with guaranteed income for at least one parent or family member for the first five years of every child's life. I agree that is the best solution!

*https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-135.pdf

Ms Urodimskaya and Mr. Ledovskikh, you are right and Julie Stalmer and Ms. Lancaster have over stepped. I would support your move to legal action against the SD Reader and Ms. Lancaster, as she is the source of the photo and therefore culpable of several unlawful acts. I can be contatced through Ms. Oganesova.

V/R, C. Foster

First of all, I love kids (I'm a retired middle school teacher). Secondly, I realize that many families require that both parents work, and that quality daycare is a necessity.

To me the issue in this case is whether the zoning is proper for this daycare. If the street is zoned R-1 (single family residence) the expectations of the homeowners on that street would be that noise, traffic, etc would be minimalized accordingly. A daycare center with 15 or more kids and parents coming and going all day clearly changes the ambience of the the neighborhood. If, in this case, the neighborhood is zoned for commercial usage or multiple units then the daycare will fit right in.

From the article, it appears that the home in question was purchased with the intent of running a business out of it from the beginning. If such is the case, and the property is zoned as R-1, the daycare should be somewhere else.

The fact that the city or the licensing agency does nothing doesn't surprise me. One of the first steps in a civilization's demise is the subtle appearance of anarchy due to the lack of enforcement of the laws in place to maintain civility. If this Clairemont situation is accurately depicted in the article it's just another crack in the wall.

Herkimer is 100% right. The zone codes in this city are not enforced and our cracked clowns running the city know it. Why don't they do something about it? We ( taxpayers ) are paying them to do a job are we not? If the would quit worrying about getting reelected and do their damn jobs a lot of the problems in the city would go away. The audits done by Mr. Luna show just how bad the city is being run, yet nobody does any thing.

It's a pity that an antiquated inadequate San Diego Unified Early Childhood Education Center next to Hawthorne Elementary in Clairemont was shut down several years ago, but was never replaced with better bungalows and fresh staff. Families with limited means were left high and dry by the school district's Superintendent Cindy Marten. So people must resort to other alternatives like the "daycare" described here.

Once again this fall, San Diego Unified suddenly shuttered another bunch of existing ECEs, leaving modest-income communities without an important affordable educational resource for preparing three-to five year-olds for the rigors of 21st century kindergarten.

Maybe this is the only way Superintendent Marten can pare entrenched vested staff, since she is bound by sacrosanct union rules of seniority. Maybe San Diego Unified is facing a serious budget shortfall. Either way, it's bad for families and kids who are left high and dry.

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