Mama Beth’s fight for her Daycare

Beth Gates(Mama Beth) has run an at home daycare for 35 years with no complaints or violations and now South Carolina Department of Social Services has shut her down over paperwork issues. However, on the day they shut her down, her name and registration # were on their website and she was listed as being up to date on all her paperwork and listed as having no complaints. Nonetheless, they shut her down and told  her to enroll in their daycare training/orientation courses(as if she had never had a daycare before), and reapply for her license.  After participating in the training and completing all the paperwork, they denied her application and refused to give her a license.


It is our belief that DSS was on a hunt to close several at home daycares to “prove” to the media/public that they were in fact a functioning entity. In the weeks prior to them visiting Beth’s house an infant died in an at home daycare with a long list of violations.  DSS was highly criticized by the media for having allowed that particular daycare to stay open, despite its previous violations. DSS has had many problems within their agency in the past several years. Their director was forced to resign in June of 2014.  December 2014 Senator Katrina Shealy  introduced a bill to dismantle DSS and start over.


When DSS ordered Beth to shut down immediately it left all her families scrambling to find new daycares in the middle of the year.  For me this meant taking sick days at work, to cart my three children around town looking for a new daycare. This experience, and the months away from her to follow, was traumatic for all involved. Everyone affected by this felt DSS handled the situation in the worst way possible.


The families who used Mama Beth’s daycare urged her to sue DSS to get her license back, which she ultimately decided to do.  A judge has ordered DSS to allow her to stay open throughout the course of the suit, so our children are happily back at her home.  However, this has turned into a much bigger legal battle than anticipated and she has incurred over $34,000 in legal fees.  It is difficult to sue a state agency when they have endless tax dollars to use in their defense. We want her to be able to continue to fight for her career and for the children of Greenville who love her and need her.


Beth Gates is one of the kindest, most generous, sweetest people you will ever meet.  She loves each of her “children” as if they were her own. Beth is a native of Greenville, SC. She was an orphan after her father died in WWII and raised by her grandparents. As a teenager she spent much of her time at a friends house who had 12 siblings.  Beth loved being in a household with many children and dreamed of having many children of her own.  Shortly after marrying her husband Clint she needed an emergency hysterectomy.  Unable to bear biological children, her and Clint adopted their daughter Amy.  Beth left her career as an accountant to stay home with her daughter and several years later started her at home daycare.  She has been keeping children in her home ever since.
  • CHERYL YOUNG 
    • $10 
    • 71 mos
  • Kathy Hobbs 
    • $30 
    • 73 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Anonymous 
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    • 73 mos
  • Mike & Judy Churchwell 
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    • 73 mos
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Organizer

Patty Kotula 
Organizer
Greenville, SC
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