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State suspends daycare owner's license

The owner of a local daycare center accused of putting a 4-year-old Port Orchard boy into the truck of her car has had her license suspended pending an investigation, according to the Washington State Department of Early Learning.

DEL Communications Manager Amy Blondin confirmed that a complaint had been made against Lynda Clarke, the owner of Grandma Lynda’s Daycare on Wilkinson Road.

“Her suspension notice was delivered to her on Nov. 14,” Blondin said, explaining that the investigation will be handled by the state Department of Social and Health Services.

She declined to speculate about how long the investigation might last, but said investigators usually try and get out to a facility within 72 hours of a complaint.

“We want a license to assure parents that a facility is a safe and healthy place for their children,” she said.

Clarke, 57, was accused last week of disciplining one of the children in her care by briefly placing him in the trunk of her car.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the 38-year-old mother of the child told deputies that when she went to the daycare Nov. 13 to pick up her son, Clarke told her that the boy’s behavior was “out of control.”

Clarke went on to say that when she picked up the victim on Old Belfair Valley Road and began to drive him to her daycare, the boy bit another child in the car, and allegedly tried to slam the car door on Clarke’s hand.

Clarke told the mother she then placed the boy in the trunk of her car, then drove the remaining distance to the daycare — three-tenths of a mile — at less than five miles per hour. The mother said that Clarke told her she closed the trunk door over her son.

A deputy then contacted Clarke, who said that soon after she picked the victim up, he bit a 3-year-old boy in the car.

When she stopped the car and got out, she said the boy kicked the back of her seat, and also slammed the car door shut in an attempt to crush her hand, which she said was in the door jam.

At that point, she said she did put the boy in the trunk of the car and drove slowly to her residence, where she runs the day care, but that she did not close the door. She said when the mother had asked her if she had done that, she said her, “Yeah, right,” response was “sarcastic.”

According to the deputy, Clarke admitted that putting the child in the truck was a mistake, and she would never do it again.

The deputy did not arrest her, but said if she did do it again, she would be arrested.

According to the DEL website, the agency receives an average of 3,100 complaint each year, and “only 30% have at least one valid issue.”

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