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Columbia Children’s Center's director removed; license pending revocation

Sep 19, 2021 5:45 am

Bill Williams is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Nancy H. Smith, founder and director of the Columbia Children’s Center in Greenport, is no longer with the center, acting director Emma S. Herzhauser said. Herzhauser shared the news in a September 17, letter to parents and guardians. The New York Office of Children and Family Services, which licenses the facility, has confirmed that Herzhauser is the acting director. In her communication to the center community, Herzhauser did not specify if Smith left of her own accord or was fired. She also told parents the state was looking to revoke the daycare center’s license. According to the OCFS website, the center's license to operate as of September 17, was pending revocation and it has been removed from the state's referral list. The center remains open. During two separate inspections of the facility conducted last week, OCFS found violations of seven state regulations. State police began its investigation into the center on September 9, after receiving reports of physical child abuse, said Aaron Hicks, public information officer for Troop K. That probe is focused on the conduct of one unidentified employee, who is "no longer reporting to work," said Michael Howard, the center's attorney. No arrests have been made. Police are looking to speak with anyone who is a current or former client of the center. They can be reached at 845-677-7300. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.