LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A local daycare owner is firing back after health officials closed his center for being unsafe and unsanitary. The TipTop Child Development Center located at 9175 S Las Vegas Boulevard near Las Vegas and Silverado Ranch boulevards was closed Tuesday after the Southern Nevada Health District slapped it with 62 health violations.
8 News NOW obtained a copy of the facility’s most recent health district inspection, and the results are less than ideal.
The doors of TipTop will have to remain closed until the violations are fixed.
The owner says he feels blindsided by the reported safety issues inside, but the health district says there was plenty of things that concerned them.
“There were hazards to children in care where they would suffer a life-changing or life-ending injury,” said Mark Bergtholdt, the Environmental Health Supervisor of Southern Nevada Health District.
To sum it up, “dangerous and dirty” is how the SNHD described TipTop Child Development Center.
“There were so many factors in place, violations, that warranted a closure because the children could have easily been injured or could spread disease,” Bergtholdt said.
The 62 violations consisted of several physical safety hazards, including sharp screws and electrical wiring within reach of children, to name a few. There was also “gross and unsanitary conditions throughout the facility,” the report said.
“They weren’t using gloves properly or weren’t washing their hands properly,” said Bergtholdt.
According to the health distirct, the long list of sanitation violation, includes staff changing multiple children’s diapers and not washing their hands in between, as well as staff not adequately cleaning all surfaces.
The report said toys and floors throughout the child care center were also “excessively dirty.”
“Because of the conditions there at the facility, there may have been an increased risk of illness,” Bergtholdt said.
Mike Tarantino, the owner of TipTop Child Development Center says he’s shocked by the report.
“This was just a problem that occurred out of the blue,” Tarantino said.
According to Tarantino, the center has never had these problems in the past. He says the only issue they had was plumbing. He says the children were never in any danger.
“There’s nothing that happened at the daycare that would have caused any harm to any child or caused any illness to any child,” Tarantino said.
“It was a very emotional time. It’s very important to use; that we get the center back open.”
“We only do one or two of these [health inspections] a year,” said Bergtholdt.
According to the health district, it’s rare to shut down one of the hundreds of daycares they inspect, but for them the reason at TipTop was clear.
“The children in care were not safe,” Bergtholdts said.
The owner of TipTop says they’re working hard to correct the violations. Once they do, the health district says it will train the staff to identify sanitation issues and potential hazards.
There’s no timeline for when the daycare will re-open, but it could be as soon as a week or two.