A highly-rated Wisconsin daycare is now closing its doors after the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) revoked its license for employing a convicted murderer.
Angel’s Joy Learning Center in Madison was known in the community for hosting local potlucks and was given five stars by the state’s childcare rating website, according to Madison 365.
But the daycare is no longer allowed to operate after a serious violation of standards was uncovered in November.
According to ABC 15, an unnamed person contacted DCF and informed them that Tracey Ferguson, who was convicted of murder in 1993, was working at the daycare and being paid “off the books.”
They claimed there was an effort to “conceal his presence in the facility.”
An investigation determined that he was working at the daycare under the management of his sister, Angela Ferguson, who is the center’s director.
Records showed that Tracey Ferguson was paid at least $5,400 over the last year, but his sister alleges he never worked with the children.
She is now working to overturn the state’s decision about the daycare license because she says her brother never worked as a “caregiver.”
The daycare director told Madison 365:
“Both of my parents had died within a year. Whenever something needs to be fixed, I’ll call him and ask him. I told [DCF] that he comes in from time to time and he cleans the daycare center on the weekends.”
A post on Angel’s Joy Learning Center’s Facebook page stated that they are working to reopen. It read, in part:
We are aware that the closing of the center has affected many families. Please know we are doing everything possible in cooperation with licensing to rectify this situation. It is our goal to have our facility up and running as soon as possible.
Angela Ferguson said that the convicted murderer didn’t spend time in the same room as the children.
However, DCF’s revocation letter stated that Tracey Ferguson was allowed to “have regular direct contact with children in care at the center.”
According to Nebraska law, anyone with a “conviction of any unlawful act endangering the health or safety of another individual” is not allowed to work at a childcare center.