Connecticut residents with intellectual disabilities could start moving into new apartments and groups homes as early as July now that the state legislature has added $4 million in funding for such placements, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Developmental Services said. In approving a state budget Saturday, the General Assembly agreed to the new funding to move some clients off a waiting list for residential placements, Joan Barnish, the DDS spokeswoman, said. The legislature also added $600,000 to DDS’ budget for 2014-15 for more grants to provide support to families whose children or grandchildren have intellectual or developmental disabilities, she said. Each person’s individual needs will be assessed, so some could receive services soon while others might wait six months or more into the new fiscal year that begins in July 1, she said. The additional funding came as a relief to members of Our Families Can’t Wait, an advocacy group formed in the fall by parents and caregivers of DDS clients.
On its website, the Tumble Bugs Day School in Norwalk boasts a “highly experienced, nurturing” staff who serve infants and toddlers in a “stimulating setting.”
But a review of state Department of Public Health records shows the child care center has had numerous complaints and citations in recent years for lapses in supervision that have injured and traumatized young children. In 2010, the center failed to notify parents when a balancing board fell on a toddler. The same year, DPH cited the center for failing to take action against a staff member who restrained a toddler on a cot by “holding down his head and body” and then falsely reported that a scratch on the boy’s face was an accident. Then, in 2011, two children came forward to report that a preschool teacher had sexually abused them during naptime – an allegation that led to the April 2012 arrest of a 44-year-old Harold Meyers, who worked at the center in 2008 and 2009. DPH investigated the case last year, but determined that the center had made oversight changes and that no further action was needed.