City closes down day care

Sugar N Spice Day Care owners Norma and Mike Childers had their license revoked Thursday after a Health Department Investigator discovered they'd withheld information from their application pertaining to revocation of a Californian elder care license for abuse and neglect in 2000.

"You specifically failed to mention that (California) had issued you a license for elder care and that the license was revoked," the letter states. "Based on this newly discovered information, Carson City hereby revokes your license to operate a child care facility."

On the March 17, 2003, application for Sugar N Spice Day Care, signed by Norma Childers and her sister Eva Sulprizio, the "no" box is checked under the question, "Are you or anyone listed in this application now licensed or have been previously licensed for the care of children or adults?"

A line asking for the state, license type and number of any previous license is left blank.

Eva Sulprizio is no longer active with the day care, according to Dustin Boothe of the Carson City Environmental Health Department.

In November 2000, Norma and Michael Childers and their son Christopher Childers signed a waiver filed with the Sacramento office of the California Department of Social Services admitting they'd failed to provide adequate care, failed to fingerprint staff and failed to report injuries to clients, at their facility known as Fresno Cares from May 21, 1999, to November 2000.

The waiver precludes Norma, Michael or Christopher Childers from holding a license, being a member of a board or having contact with any clients of elder or child-care centers in California for 10 years.

In an order excluding Norma Childers from Fresno Cares in February 2000, the California Department of Social Services charges she was a threat to residents of the home.

"The department has determined that your continued or future contact with clients or presence in any child day care or residential treatment facility ... constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the clients in care," the document states.

A 27-page court document accompanying the California stipulation includes dozens of allegations of neglect and abuse, such as:

n Clients suffering from bed sores and not adequately supervised;

n Untrained personnel caring for medical needs and giving injections;

n A client with dementia locked on a patio, and others left to cry in pain at night from injures sustained in falls;

n A male client's penis had to be amputated after it became gangrenous when a rash was left untreated.

No charges were filed against the Childerses in the California case after the stipulation was signed.

Health Department investigator Boothe, who oversees day care centers in the city, served Michael Childers the revocation of Sugar N Spice's license Thursday at 3 p.m. The center was not accepting clients Friday.

Norma Childers, reached by phone at her Washoe Valley home, declined comment.

"Sugar N Spice will not reopen under the direction or licensing of any Childerses," Booth said.

He said because the Childerses were never convicted of any wrongdoing in the California case, a background check did not uncover the allegations. It was during the course of a criminal investigation of Norma Childers, in which she is alleged to have duct-taped shut the mouths of two children at Sugar N Spice in August, that the California situation came to light, Booth said.

In 2000, Childers and her husband, Michael, were acquitted by a jury on felony abuse and neglect charges at Nevada Cares, a nursing home in Carson City. The Nevada Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case, in which a 78-year-old patient allegedly had pressure sores on her body and a fungi-like mold on her dentures and in her mouth. Michael Childers was owner of the facility; Norma Childers was the administrator.

Norma Childers will be arraigned Tuesday in Carson City Justice Court on charges of felony child abuse and endangerment.

Boothe said the Childerses have requested a hearing before the Carson City Board of Supervisors to argue against revocation of their license. No date for that hearing has been set.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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