EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 29, 2013

Sex offender lived at Methuen day care address

By Douglas Moser

---- — METHUEN — A private day care center had its license revoked by the state Wednesday after a review by the state auditor's office revealed that a Level 2 registered sex offender lived at the same address.

Ana Julia Minaya, who operated the center at 38 French St., apartment 1, was one of four day care operators who lost their license Wednesday after the state determined that a registered sex offender lived at the address.

A woman who identified herself as Ana Minaya on the phone yesterday afternoon said she did not speak English when asked to comment on the license and on listing of her address by a sex offender.

Her license was first issued on Feb. 28, 2007.

Kathleen Hart, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Education, which oversees licensure for day care facilities in Massachusetts, said yesterday Minaya lost her license.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump released a report Wednesday that found that, among other things, the Department of Early Education and Care, which is part of the Executive Office of Education, did not periodically compare day care addresses against the addresses convicted sex offenders must provide to their local police departments.

The report noted that the department is not required under current state law to conduct such an analysis.

"During our audit, we compared the most recently reported home addresses of all Level 2 and Level 3 registered sex offenders to all licensed Commonwealth child care provider addresses during the 15-month period July 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011 and found 119 instances where Level 2 and Level 3 sex offender addresses matched addresses of EEC child care providers," the report said. "While we recognize that all 119 may not pose a problem because some of the information in the sex offender registry may be outdated, we believe that routinely conducting this match will serve to better ensure the safety of children in EEC’s programs."

The three other license suspensions were Robin Wiiniaka-Machado of Leominster and Diane Martin and Carmen Martinez, both of Springfield.

Bump's report noted that the Department of Early Education and Care did not perform the required Criminal Offender Record Inquiry check on 10 percent of employees in a sample of child care providers, failed to conduct unannounced inspections on large family child care centers and did not ensure that a checklist that includes emergency contacts and health information was filled out.

According to the Department of Early Education and Care, Methuen has 76 licensed child care facilities, not counting Minaya's. Most of those are family child care licenses, which are for in-home child care operations. More than a dozen of those facilities are large group and school age child care for organizations like Presentation of Mary and the YMCA.

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