Hillsdale day care license suspended after infant's death – The Hillsdale Daily News

HILLSDALE — The death of an infant who was in the care of a Hillsdale-area day care on June 1 is under investigation by law enforcement and state licensing officials.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has summarily suspended and issued a notice of intent to revoke Jolene Pickford’s group child care home license, a news release from LARA said. Pickford has run a day care at 7880 E. Bacon Road in Hillsdale. Her license was issued in October 2022.
A child was found face down with a blanket over its head and blue lips after being placed in a play yard on the morning on June 1, the order suspending Pickford’s license and giving notice to revoke the license said. The child’s exact age was redacted – blacked out in the order – but was given in months. Pickford had last checked on the child about 25 minutes before, and the blanket was between the child’s legs and near their face as the child slept on their side. The gender of the child was redacted.
Pickford yelled for a staff member to call 911 and performed CPR on the child until emergency medical personnel arrived about 18 minutes later, the order said. The child arrived at an undisclosed medical facility at 10:51 a.m. and was pronounced dead at 11:17 a.m.
During an interview with a state investigator on June 2, the order said, Pickford acknowledged knowing that a child younger that 1 year old should not be put in a crib with soft objects such as blankets. Pickford also admitted to putting a blanket into a crib with a different child when she was laid down to sleep.
The order said Pickford had attended training sessions in June and September 2022 that included instructions on safe infant sleeping arrangements.
An autopsy report is pending, the report said, but the investigator was told there were no signs of abuse or trauma.
LARA’s investigation concluded on June 7 found violations of the Child Care Organizations Act and administrative rules, including failure to act in a manner that is conducive to the welfare of children, failure to provide appropriate care and supervision at all times, failure to keep soft objects away from sleeping infants, and failure to ensure that all child care staff complete criminal background checks prior to caring for children. 
Effective 6 p.m. June 8, the summary suspension order went into effect prohibiting Pickford from operating a day care in her home or at any other address or location. 
Parents of children previously in her care were notified by the state of the decision. 
“It was critical to take emergency action to protect the health, welfare and safety of the children at this group child care home,” the state stated in a news release. 
Subcribe Now:For all the latest local developments, breaking news and high school sports content.
Pickford was not immediately available for comment on the allegations. 
Hillsdale County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Wisniewski confirmed the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office has an open criminal investigation into the matters but said that as of June 13 investigators had yet to request criminal charges.
— Contact Reporter Corey Murray atcmurray@hillsdale.net or follow him on Twitter: @cmurrayHDN.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top