UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, after this story was first published, the Alabama Department of Human Resources submitted to The Red Bay News a copy of the license suspension notice as well as the letter explaining the state’s causes for suspension that was given to and signed by Tiny Tigers Pre-K owner Angelene Chamblee. We appreciate ADHR’s response and assistance and the story below has been updated from an earlier version to reflect the new information.
RED BAY | Officials with the Alabama Department of Human Resources were in Red Bay Wednesday to meet with the owner of Tiny Tigers Pre-K, who surrendered the daycare’s license that afternoon. The facility was closed that same day.
Dominic Binkley, Director of Communications for ADHR in Montgomery, responded Friday to a Red Bay News request for details surrounding the daycare’s closure. A cover letter provided by the ADHR states: “The Alabama Department of Human Resources has suspended the license issued to Tiny Tigers Pre-K located at 1100 4th Street NE, Red Bay, AL 35582. The Center must close immediately. This Suspension is necessary due to imminent danger to the health and safety of the children. A copy of the Suspension letter is posted at the center. If you have questions, please contact the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Child Care Services Division at 1-866-528-1694. For assistance in finding child care, please contact CMA of North Central Alabama, at 256-534-0548.”
The News is reviewing the details of the explanation letter provided by the state.
The closure comes amid a continuing investigation into the death of a four-month-old infant on March 9 who was in the care of the facility. When the child was discovered unresponsive, the owner and an employee rushed the child to the Red Bay Hospital, where attempts to revive the infant were unsuccessful. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital and an autopsy was performed later to determine the cause of the death. The preliminary autopsy report has been reviewed by the Red Bay Police Department, and earlier this week they were still awaiting the final autopsy report.
During the course of the investigation one employee of Tiny Tigers Pre-K was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting to police. Red Bay Police Chief Janna Jackson said that charge stemmed from statements the employee gave police during the investigation that differed from statements given later. That employee was booked at the Red Bay Police Department and later released.
“This remains an open and fluid investigation and additional criminal charges have not been ruled out,” Assistant District Attorney Jeff Barksdale said.