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Daycare suspended in wake of infant death investigation

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Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 5:51 pm | Updated: 12:48 pm, Fri Jan 31, 2014.

BRADENTON, Fla. – In an update to a story we brought you about the Manatee County private school that is part of a death investigation, the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida was served with an emergency suspension order late Thursday.

That means they will no longer be able to care for infants under the age of 12 months old.

The move comes as the state Department of Children and Families and the Bradenton Police investigate the death of an infant that occurred at the location off 26th Street West in Bradenton.

Officials say the investigation into the infant death that happened back on January 7th resulted in the discovery of other violations. "This emergency suspension order is the result of significant license violations that was discovered upon the initiation of this investigation,” says Natalie Harrell with DCF.

And despite being given information that only the infant classrooms are being affected, parents we spoke to Friday say they were told otherwise. "I really don't want to change him, and I had every intention of keeping him there and paying the price that we have to pay for him to go there, even though the circumstances. But when I went to pick him up yesterday, they told me they were closing the place down and I would have to do something by the 31st," says parent Amy Bartholomew.

DCF is in the process of revoking the school's license -- a move that could confirm the school's complete closure; a move upsetting many parents. “I was really upset because I really like him going there. We like it here, we drive all the way in from Ellenton to West Bradenton to take him every morning.”

The school is one few in the area that provides free or reduced child care for low income families. The possible closure has hundreds of parents scrambling to find other alternatives. "I understand that when a tragedy like this happens, they have to take precautions, but it’s a really good place. It’s been there for a long time.”

The name and age of the student who died while at the facility have not been released. Police are awaiting an autopsy to confirm the actual cause of death.

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