Unlicensed day care shut

New York Daily News/May 27, 2005
By Carrie Melago

A Staten Island day care program was shut down yesterday because it had no permits, was overcrowded and lacked sufficient fire exits, officials said. Torah Tots cared for 89 children in two buildings and a trailer at 289 Harold St. and 389 Bradley Ave. in Willowbrook.

Firefighters conducting a routine building inspection yesterday morning discovered that the center wasn't licensed, and Health Department inspectors arrived soon after to close the three buildings. The inspectors helped the operators contact parents so that they could pick up their youngsters, the Health Department said.

Fire officials issued a number of citations against the center, including one for overcrowding and another for inadequate fire exits.

"The violations were issued for the sake of the children's health and well-being," a Fire Department spokesman said.

The day care center is affiliated with Chabad Lubavitch of Staten Island. Rabbi Moshe Katzman, director of Chabad Lubavitch, did not return calls for comment last night.

Because Torah Tots will remain closed until further notice, the health inspectors informed parents about alternative childcare options.

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