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New Day Care Copes With Love A Lot’s Legacy

First Steps Director Luz WhetstoneLaura Edwins The director of First Steps, Luz Whetstone, teaches a youngster. The daycare has struggled to attract parents in the aftermath of another preschool’s abrupt closing in the same location.

A new daycare on Clinton Street is struggling to attract parents who remain wary thanks to the previous occupant: the notorious Love A Lot preschool.

After eight months in operation, First Steps only has 12 preschool students, and director Luz Whetstone said parents and city officials are still asking questions about Love A Lot. “We still get the residuals of it, I guess,” Ms. Whetstone said. “The Labor Department came by and we had to show them our tax ID and show them that we have no affiliation with Love A Lot. We didn’t just change the name. We’re really a legit business.”

But parents still remember the mess that led to the Clinton Street location of Love A Lot closing in July due to financial struggles and a variety of Department of Health violations including the lack of an educational director, the inability to provide documentation of staff medical records, and failure to screen staff. Read more…

DocuDrama: Troubled Preschool Shutters, Leaving Teachers and Parents Feeling Stiffed

IMG_0382Stephen Rex Brown The blinds are drawn at the preschool, which abruptly closed earlier this month.

When Devon Eisele took her 4-year-old daughter to Love A Lot preschool on Clinton Street on July 1 and Con Edison had cut the power, that was the last straw. While teachers did their best to improvise, taking the tykes to playgrounds and out for lunch, Ms. Eisele and her husband decided to withdraw their child from the financially struggling school.

As it turned out, they left at just the right time. Days later, the Clinton Street space closed, and the school was consolidated into the original location on Suffolk Street.

On October 5, that location abruptly closed, leaving parents scrambling to find a new preschool, and teachers fuming about months of unpaid wages. That day, the Department of Health revoked Love A Lot’s operating permit, citing “lack of an educational director, inability to provide documentation of staff medical records, and failure to screen staff,” according to a spokeswoman. Previously, the same location had been cited by city health inspectors for a variety of violations, including not having a staff member trained in CPR on site, lack of working fire and carbon monoxide alarms, and problems with hot and cold water — all of which were resolved, according to the spokeswoman.

The owner of Love A Lot, Olga Bosio, is named in two lawsuits, one from a former teacher seeking $6,500 in back wages, and another from former parents seeking $10,500 for tuition paid up front, as well as deposits for the school year. (According to Ms. Eisele, tuition at the school was around $2,000 a month.)
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