CHILD CENTER CLOSED, 2 JAILED

SAVANNAH, GA (February 19, 2013): Two women were sentenced to 10 days in jail today after Metro Police and county authorities found a 14-year-old child in charge of 11 children age 4 or younger at an illegal, unlicensed day care center.

Kimberly Denise Emerson, 47, and Erica Hayward were each sentenced to the Chatham County Detention Center for contempt of court after they were found to be operating the day care center after being ordered not to.

The day care center had not obtained licenses from either the county or state since authorities first became aware of it at 1190 King George Boulevard in October. The women were cited in January for continuing to operate the center known as Georgetown Child Care Center and ordered to stop in Recorders Court in January. Instead, it reopened as Georgetown Fitness Center for children.

County inspectors visited the center two weeks ago and caught the operators sneaking children out of the back door, in the rain without shoes, to hide them in a van. Another time they attempted to drive them away in an automobile without seat belts or child safety seats.

The following day, authorities arrived to find the screaming children hidden in a bathroom with no lights.

Today, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police arrived to find a family member of one of the women had left the facility in the hands of a 14-year-old. The center was closed permanently.

Assistant Chatham County Attorney Jennifer Burns who oversaw the county actions advised parents not to leave their children in the care of these operators.

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