Denial takes effect for daycare that wanted to open next to rural Missouri nursing home with sex offenders

The state has rejected an application from a proposed daycare in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia that would have been 12 feet from a nursing home with numerous sex offenders.

A daycare facility called Lil Mouse wanted to open next to the nursing home. State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) spokeswoman Lisa Cox told Missourinet on Friday that DHSS has denied the application, and Lil Mouse did not appeal. Because of that, the denial has become effective.

The controversy drew the attention of state lawmakers at the Missouri Capitol in April, when Four Seasons Living Center lobbyist Jack Dalton testified before the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. Dalton noted the daycare wanted to open next to his nursing home, which has 17 registered sex offenders.

“Our response was ‘you got to be kidding me,’ Dalton testified in April. “That’s where you want to put children that you’re charged with taking care of?”

Dalton told stunned lawmakers in April that the daycare would have been 12 feet from his nursing home.

“And you’re going to build a swing set and a playground next door to this? And we’re not talking about across the street, we’re talking about across the sidewalk,” Dalton said in April.

Dalton testified that day that some of the 17 sex offenders who live at the Sedalia facility “may be more aggressive.”

During the April hearing, Dalton also called on state lawmakers to approve a bill that would give DHSS the clear authority to deny an application for a daycare license if it would be located within 1,000 feet of where registered sex offenders live or receive treatment.

State Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie, sponsored the 2019 bill. Dalton testified for Representative Hicks’ bill, which did not pass.