By Aubrey Wieber

The Bulletin

Licensed day cares

To check if your day care provider is licensed, you can run them through a search at or call 503-947-1400.

The day care provider Bend Police found at a tanning salon Wednesday while the children in her care were left unattended has been investigated twice since 2014 by state child welfare advocates. But January Neatherlin still managed to have her business, Little Giggles Daycare, listed as an option for students at OSU-Cascades.

State records show Neatherlin, 31, took out a business license for Little Giggles Daycare in 2010. That lapsed in 2012 and was never renewed. It is not the same license, though, that is needed to run a day care operation — and a day care provider license is only needed if a provider cares for more than three children. Complaints that Neatherlin exceeded the limit could only be confirmed in 2014, said Dawn Woods, director of the Oregon Office of Child Care.

Neatherlin was charged Thursday with seven counts each of felony first-degree criminal mistreatment, misdemeanor second-degree child neglect and misdemeanor reckless endangering another person. Neatherlin’s case also will be presented to a grand jury Tuesday.

Neatherlin was arrested after police, acting on an anonymous tip, found seven children ranging from 6 months to 4 years abandoned in her home at 20915 NE Blue Bush Court in northeast Bend.

Neatherlin had her initial court appearance Thursday before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Bethany Flint and appeared via video from the Deschutes County jail.

The grand jury could indict Neatherlin on other charges, said Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Monaghan.

Neatherlin, who also goes by January Livsey and January Brooks, has several felony identity theft convictions dating back to 2007.

Neatherlin was first investigated by the Oregon Office of Child Care in 2014 after a citizen tip, Woods said.

Employees from the office dropped in on Neatherlin on Jan. 9, 2014, and found her watching more than three children. Per agency policy, Neatherlin was told to drop her client load down to three, or get licensed.

An unannounced follow-up visit was made to Neatherlin’s home on March 11, 2014, to see if she was compliant. Neatherlin didn’t answer the door. A second visit was made an hour later, and no one answered the door either. Two days later, a third visit was made, but again no one answered the door.

Woods said in 2015 a similar citizen complaint was made against Neatherlin, but a home visit found she had three or fewer children at the day care, which voided the complaint.

Neatherlin was able to slip through the cracks that largely depend on citizen complaints to fill.

“We really do rely on parents and general citizens to be the eyes of the community,” Woods said.

Woods said if a confirmed violator is found again in violation of regulations during the unannounced visit, a written warning is issued. After two written warnings, the violator can be fined $100 or more, but the employee doing the check also has the discretion to keep doling out warnings.

Richard Riggs, legal administrator for the office, said eventually the office can take the illegal business to court. Also, any child abuse viewed would be immediately reported to law enforcement or the county child welfare advocates.

Woods said that as of January, federal regulation dictates that anyone who goes through the licensing process has to be fingerprinted by the FBI. Any red flags, such as felony convictions, prompt a round of questioning. Woods said Neatherlin’s identity theft charges would have been a red flag but wouldn’t disqualify her from being licensed by default.

While Neatherlin was able to avoid state regulators, she also got past regulators at OSU-Cascades, landing on their list for subsidized child care. Christine Coffin, OSU-Cascades spokeswoman, said Thursday that Neatherlin has now been dropped from the list. Coffin wasn’t sure how, as an unlicensed day care operation, Little Giggles Daycare got on the list in the first place. Coffin said the university is reviewing its policies to make sure no other unlicensed day cares are on the list.

Police continue to investigate the recent case against Neatherlin. Bend Police Department Lt. Jason Maniscalco said neighbors and parents of children attending Little Giggles Daycare have been interviewed.

“Hopefully from there we will have a better picture of what’s going on historically with her,” Maniscalco said.

According to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, Neatherlin was a certified nurses assistant in Bend until her license expired in 2007. Records indicate no disciplinary actions were taken against her.

Maniscalco said since Neatherlin uses several names, tracking down her history is a little harder, but nothing the detectives can’t handle. Maniscalco declined to comment on whether or not the investigation found any child abuse or child neglect issues, but Thursday’s court hearing shed some light on Neatherlin’s history with children.

As Flint, the judge, and Monaghan, the prosecutor, discussed a no-contact order to be imposed if Neatherlin is able to post her $200,000 bail, Flint asked Neatherlin if she had any children. She responded that she had an 11-year-old son that lives with his father and a 5-year-old daughter who was taken by a child protective services agency, but she did not say where that was.

Neatherlin dropped her head and wiped tears from her eyes as Flint said not to contact any of the children she abandoned in her home or have contact with any other minors without supervision — including with her own children. She also cannot go anywhere where children congregate.

Her next court date is Tuesday.

­— Reporter: 541-383-0376,