Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chofetz Chaim Preschool - shut!

TJN: Monsey: The state has ordered a preschool program being run out of a trailer at a yeshiva construction site to be closed for operating without a license. The order came in a letter sent last week to Chofetz Chaim of Radin, after an investigation by the state's Office of Children and Family Services. Operating an unlicensed day-care center violates Social Services Law, wrote Frances I. Franco-Montero, regional manager of the Bureau of Early Childhood Services. "If you are caring for three or more children, for more than three hours per day on a regular basis, you are required to be licensed with the Office to operate," she wrote. South Nyack attorney Dennis Lynch, who represents the developer, said the preschool continued to operate. He said neither he nor his client had received the state letter. "When and if we receive communications, we will respond accordingly," Lynch said. "They are without jurisdiction and we are notifying them to cease and desist. They have no jurisdiction where a day care is affiliated with a religious education institution. This is an attempt to suppress the religious education of my client." Franco-Montero said the developer, who is building a school and apartments for adult students at the Grandview Avenue site, should immediately close the preschool until it was licensed. She also wrote that the parents or guardians of the schoolchildren must be notified of the licensing violation. Continuing the program or failing to notify the parents could subject the operators to a $500 per day fine...Rabbi Aryeh Zaks disputed the town's findings and said he was "appalled" that the town inspectors asked to see a state license for preschools. Zaks told Klein that religious educational facilities did not require any state licensing.
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