Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) Provider Pled Guilty to Falsifying Documents to State Agency
On February 27, 2018, Debra Parker Osborn, Owner/Director of Sonshine Christian Childcare & Prekindergarten Center, Inc., pled guilty in Bulloch County Superior Court to one count of making false statements (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20) in a scheme to defraud the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s (DECAL) Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program. As a result of her guilty plea under the First Offender Act, Ms. Osborn received a sentence of three years of probation, during which she is required to pay restitution of $4,328 and perform 200 hours of community service. Ms. Osborn also has to abide by the following special conditions of probation and cannot: 1) apply for or obtain a child care learning center license; cannot own, be employed by, or be affiliated with a child care learning center or any other daycare facility, or any program that receives CAPS payments; and cannot participate in the CAPS program.
CAPS, a federally funded, state operated program, assists low income families with the cost of child care. Licensed providers participating in the program receive funding based on the number of CAPS-eligible children attending the center.
In 2014, Ms. Osborn submitted falsified documentation to DECAL. Ms. Osborn over reported the number of CAPS-eligible children in attendance at her daycare located in Statesboro, GA. Ms. Osborn was arrested on November 10, 2017.
The case was referred by DECAL to the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General (GA OIG) for investigation. The case was investigated by former GA OIG Deputy Inspector General Bill Donaldson and Investigator Cameron Rabbit. The Georgia Department of Law’s Senior Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia.