State regulators have suspended the license of a central Minnesota home day care operator after an infant under its care suffered a serious injury and later died.
The infant boy was found unresponsive at a home day care in Brainerd around 2 p.m. on Nov. 12. Deputies along with other emergency responders responded with lifesaving measures, but the infant died a short time later at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Crow Wing County Sheriff's office.
Three days after the boy's death, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), which licenses family child care providers, temporarily suspended the license holder, Mindy Koering, of Brainerd. The agency's license order said that a report "alleged an incident involving a serious injury to a child in your care," though it contained no further specifics.
"DHS has determined that the health, safety and rights of children in your care are in imminent risk of harm," the order said.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's office and Ramsey County Medical Examiner are still investigating the cause of the boy's death. They did not give the boy's name.
It is rare for the state to temporarily suspend the license of a child care provider; such enforcement actions are taken only when there is an imminent risk of harm to children. Between 2014 and 2018, 13 child care centers have had their licenses temporarily suspended by the DHS. Another 52 centers have had their licenses revoked over the same five-year period, according to a DHS report. Statewide, there were eight reported deaths at licensed child care centers and home day cares in 2017 and 2018.
Child care providers can appeal a suspension, and the department may issue further licensing actions based on the severity of an incident.
The family day care where the boy was found unresponsive is licensed for a capacity of 10 children. State records indicate that in 2018 the child care operator was cited for water that was too hot in areas that were accessible to children. Koering submitted documentation showing the problem had been corrected, state records show.