NLR Childcare Center Once Again Under Investigation

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NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A North Little Rock childcare center is once again under DHS investigated for alleged child maltreatment.

Ascent Children’s Health Services has already been on DHS probation since August, after officials said a boy was left unsupervised outside for hours, later found bloodied and bruised near the playground.

Jacksonville mother Alisha Gurley recently filed complaints with DHS and police after her 3 year old daughter Cataleya came home from Ascent in the same diaper she went to school in hours before. Her daughter has gone to the center for developmental therapy for two years but decided no more after this incident.

“[The diaper] was sopping wet. When I weighed it, it weighed six pounds,” Gurley said. “That’s neglect. They neglected my child.”

It’s not the first time Gurley says her daughter has come home in a state that staff couldn’t explain. At least nine times, she says her daughter has come home with mysterious welts, bruises, and scrapes.

DHS confirms it has opened a licensing investigation stemming from an incident on November 27th — the same day Cataleya came home in her dirty diaper — but provided no additional details.

As we previously reported, two Ascent NLR employees were fired after the boy was found unattended outside in August. Gurley believes drastic action needs to be taken once again.

“Something needs to be done, because this is not acceptable,” she said.   

Meanwhile, Gurley is heading into the New Year looking for a new school for her child.

Ascent’s West Memphis facility has also been on probation since this summer, after a young boy was left unattended in a hot van and died.

Former CEO, State Representative Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) announced his retirement after both the West Memphis and NLR controversies earlier this year. An interim CEO is running things while they work to secure a replacement.

Despite multiple attempts, Ascent could not be reached for comment on this story.

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