Cookeville daycare closed by state until further notice

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Parents of children who attend Bright Ideas Enrichment Center were notified today by phone that the childcare center had been closed by the state of Tennessee for licensing violations. A follow-up text instructed parents to pick up all their child’s belongings as the business was closed until further notice. The child care center is licensed to serve 166 children.

See related story: Cookeville daycare property sells for more than $3.1 million

According to reports from parents, staffing issues and children being left alone with a photographer were among some of their complaints.

The center’s violations listed on the Tennessee Department of Human Services website include:

  • 03/09/2022 Observation: Children in two classrooms were observed being grouped to meet Adult: Child ratio. One infant was moved to another infant classroom to meet adult: child ratio and 12-15 month room were moved to another toddler room to meet A:C ratio due to staff shortages.
  • 03/08/2022 Observation: In the two (2) – two and one-half (2 1/2) year old room the A:C ratio was 1:8, when it was supposed to be 1:7 to meet the Licensure Rules.
  • 03/03/2022 Observation: Children were observed in a classroom with two photographers during picture day without an educator providing supervision who has proper background clearance.
  • 03/03/2022 Observation: Children were being removed from the classroom and left without the supervision of a qualified child care agency staff member during picture time.

When contacted, Bright Ideas refused to comment on the closure.

Bright Ideas Enrichment Center has been in operation in Cookeville since April 2021 when the Bright Ideas Family purchased Lighthouse Learning Academy. It is a part of the Bright Ideas family of child care centers that encompasses 10 centers in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. 

Bright Ideas Enrichment Center purchased the 7,980-square-foot facility in September 2021 for $3,125,000 in the month’s the largest real estate transaction. Bright Ideas is owned by Clear Capital LLC, a real estate investment firm based in California.

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