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.”
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.
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.”