Toddler’s death leads to review

Gloria Feliz, center, listens as her daughter, Norma Espinoza translates for her 
lawyer Isaac Perez at a Boston Inspectional Services hearing Thursday.

Despite testimony by supportive parents, city officials determined yesterday that the violations found inside a Dorchester day care were enough to continue to temporarily condemn it.

“I think we all agree that these violations do exist,” said John Meaney, of the city’s Inspectional Services Department. “We have a vulnerable population here.”

Gloria Feliz, the woman who ran the day care, appeared at a hearing Thursday with her lawyer to answer to multiple violations found in the wake of Monday’s incident in which a toddler was found dead in a van in front of the facility.

Her lawyer, Isaac Peres, said Feliz planned to fix the violations, which he called “minor.”

Inspectors were called to the home-based day care after the dead child was found in a van outside the house. The child did not go to the day care and Peres would not comment on the relationship of the driver and the transportation company to Feliz.

“It’s been a tough 48 hours for them. They’re in a state of shock,” Peres said. “She’s just in the glare of the spotlight because of this tragedy.”

Feliz didn’t say much during the hearing and mostly looked down with a distressed expression on her face. She was surrounded by family and parents of children who attend her day care that testified in support of the business.

Darryl Smith, the assistant commissioner of ISD, said the agency plans to meet with state officials to work on communication. While Feliz’s facility did not have proper city permits and multiple violations, she was licensed by the state Department of Early Education & Care as far back as 2002. The state’s website shows her license was renewed in June.

A message left for a state education spokesman was not returned by press time.



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