- Associated Press - Thursday, April 4, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon child care regulators have disclosed the deaths of two children in licensed day care facilities that were not previously made public, a newspaper reported.

The state failed to disclose the deaths in 2011 and 2012 until this week, and until last month did not disclose the death of a third child last August, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported Wednesday.

The deaths happened at Little Rascals in Portland on Jan. 25, 2011 and at Annie’s Kids in Clackamas on Aug. 21, 2012, said Melanie Mesaros, a state Office of Child Care spokeswoman. Mesaros could not immediately provide the ages or genders of the children or the circumstances of either death.

The death of a child at Little Big Blessings in Eugene on Aug. 22, 2018, was not initially disclosed due to guidance from the Eugene Police Department, which is investigating the case, officials said.

The Office of Child Care did not intend to mislead the public and blamed the state’s failure to provide accurate fatality statistics following changes in 2013 to a tracking system for child welfare cases, Mesaros said.

“There is not a deliberate effort underway to not report fatalities,” Mesaros said.

No state or federal rules were in place requiring the agency to publicly disclose deaths from 2011 or 2012, according to the newspaper, which reported that 12 children have died in licensed Oregon child care facilities since 2008.

The newspaper said the new disclosures were prompted by its long-term investigation into child care safety.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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