Death of infant leads to investigation of Bradenton daycare

eearl@bradenton.comJanuary 23, 2014 

The Children'­s Academy of Southwest Florida located on 26th Street W. in Bradenton FILE PHOTO TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald


BRADENTON -- After the death of a baby in its care this month, Thursday was the last day the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida was permitted to provide infant care, according to the Department of Children and Families.

Medical examiners are still waiting on the toxicology reports in the death of an infant under the watch of the Manatee County preschool and day care, Bradenton police Chief Michael Radzilowski said Thursday.

The Children's Academy called Bradenton police to the school on Jan. 7 when the baby was not breathing.

"They think the cause of death was natural causes, but the toxicology reports have not come back yet," Radzilowski said.

The infant care portion of the day care at 923 26th St. W. was shuttered by the Department of Children and Families.

Natalie Harrel from the Department of Children and Families said the Children's Academy was given an emergency suspension order.

"After 7 p.m. Thursday, their licence will no longer allow them to care for children 12 months or younger at the main site location," Harrel said.

Representatives from the Children's Academy declined to comment.

DCF found several licensing violations while investigating the infant's death, Harrel said.

"The emergency suspension is connected to the death of the child in the sense that the investigation revealed licensing violations," Harrel said. "It is not because of this specific incident."

Harrel said the investigation into the Children's Academy is ongoing.

The Children's Academy of Southwest Florida has two other locations -- one in Sarasota and another in Bradenton on Seventh Avenue East. The secondary locations will still be permitted to provide infant care, Harrel said.

As of Thursday, Bradenton police had not received word on when the toxicology reports would be available.

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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