|NORWALK?-- A Norwalk nursery school embroiled in a child abuse scandal failed to conduct background checks on the former preschool teacher accused of molesting two young girls under his care, according to documents obtained by The Hour.
An investigation by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, which oversees child daycare facilities in the state, found that Frank Canosa, owner and director of Tumble Bugs Day School, and his staff "failed to ensure the safety, health and development of the children in care" approximately two years ago, when the sexual abuse is alleged to have occurred.
The violations detailed in the documents, which The Hour obtained through a Freedom of Information request, contradict Canosa's previous assurances to the parents of children enrolled in his program.
Following the April 23 arrest of 44-year-old Harold Meyers, Canosa wrote in an email to parents that all Tumble Bugs teachers undergo state and federal fingerprinting, as well as background checks, which are conducted by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Tumble Bugs staff also receive abuse and neglect training on a semi-annual basis, he said.
DPH investigators; however, after conducting a site inspection in September 2011, concluded that Tumble Bugs did not complete the appropriate background checks for Meyers.
On Dec. 5, 2011, Sandra L. Lok, a child care licensing supervisor with DPH, sent a violation notice to Canosa, which claims Tumble Bugs "failed to submit to the department fingerprint cards for state police and federal criminal record checks and specific forms for a DCF?child abuse/neglect record check."?
As a result of the oversight, the notice says Tumble Bugs "failed to ensure the safety, health and development of the children in care, failed to be responsible for the overall management and operation of the Center...and failed to maintain staff with the personal qualities to work with and care for children."
Canosa's attorney, Stephen Sedor, disputed the charges outlined in the report. He noted that no disciplinary action has been taken against Tumble Bugs.
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