On Tuesday, two women were sentenced to 10 days in jail after Savannah-Chatham Metro Police and county authorities found a 14-year-old child in charge of 11 children age 4 or younger at an illegal, unlicensed day care center.
Kimberly Denise Emerson, 47, and Erica Hayward were sentenced for contempt of court after they were found to be operating the day care center after being ordered not to.
The day care center at 1190 King George Blvd. had not obtained licenses from either the county or state since authorities first became aware of it in October. Emerson and Hayward were cited in January for continuing to operate the center known as Georgetown Child Care Center and ordered to stop in Recorders Court in January. Instead, the women reopened it as the Georgetown Fitness Center for Children.
Two weeks ago, county inspectors visited the center and caught the operators sneaking children out of the back door, in the rain without shoes, to hide them in a van.
Another time the operators attempted to drive the children away in an automobile without seat belts or child safety seats.
Authorities returned the following day and found screaming children hidden in a bathroom with no lights.
On Tuesday, police found that a family member of one of the women had left the facility in the hands of a 14 year old. Authorities then closed the center permanently.
Assistant Chatham County Attorney Jennifer Burns advised parents not to leave their children in the care of these operators.