THE INVESTIGATORS: More than a dozen deficiencies identified at daycare after toddler attacked by fellow student
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Scholarly Education of Precious Tots daycare in Baker is under the microscope after a young girl was beaten by another student. On its website, the daycare promises that children are in great hands but a recent inspection by the state suggests that may be in question.
Lakreshia Lawrence came to the 9News Investigators earlier this month after a video from inside the daycare showed her child being slapped and punched about 15 times while the adults who are supposed to be watching her were nowhere to be found.
“I don’t want anybody to feel what I felt in those few minutes of watching my daughter being attacked,” said Lawrence. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”
The mom rushed into the facility after watching the video in real-time, telling the older child not to touch her baby again. One of the workers got into it with the mom after the attack before launching into a string of curse words right in front of the other children.
“Yeah, I’m satisfied that they’re looking into it but I’m not going to stop until she’s shut down,” said Lawrence.
According to new records obtained by the 9News Investigators, it’s one of 15 problems the state flagged at the daycare.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked the mom if she is surprised that the state identified 15 deficiencies at the facility.
“Yeah, I am. Just the videos that I had alone, I know there was quite a few but I didn’t realize there was 15,” Lawrence said.
Surveillance video the 9News Investigators obtained captured some of the deficiencies in question. The state dinged the daycare for its supervision. In part of the video, the children appear to be left alone for several minutes. According to the records. workers repeatedly left children alone for long stretches of time, in some cases, more than three minutes. In another video, inspectors called out the daycare for snatching up a 1-year-old child by one arm. While the worker goes over to change the child’s diaper, inspectors also cited the daycare for a candle burning on a low shelf in reach of the kids. Inspectors also cited cords and wires and exposed power strips in the corner of the room. Inspectors also called out the daycare because the worker failed to wash her hands after changing the child’s diaper.
In another video, inspectors also had a problem with a worker forcing a mask on a child so hard that the child had to throw out their hands to keep from falling onto the floor. The state also cited the staff for snatching a child and being too aggressive while trying to put the toddler’s shoes back on. All of these incidents played out within two weeks inside the daycare and it’s the reason Lawrence said she had to get her daughter out.
“I knew right then and there, these are not the type of people I want watching my child,” said Lawrence.
Action plans are also attached for all of the problems identified by the state. Most of them include more training for the staff to ensure it doesn’t happen again but Lawrence believes that’s not enough and she hopes the state will dig deeper at this daycare.
“I wasn’t aware of how far it went until I read the report which scared me on another level,” said Lawrence.
WAFB reached out to the daycare’s owner. She released the following statement.
“As previously provided, our center remains committed to adequately educating and protecting the children that we serve. In response to your most recent inquiry, any/all deficiencies cited within the correspondence that you reference have been addressed and corrected since that time. Also, of note, we have retained more qualified staff and have likewise attended behavior management trainings and necessary CDA courses. Our center is clean and organized. We maintain and enforce the appropriate electronic, supervision, and teacher to student ratio policies and procedures, and will continue to do so in the future to ensure that our children are safe and receive a quality education. Again, to our loyal parents, we appreciate your continued business and support.”
Lawrence is just glad she had a video to show what happened to her child but she believes the fact that the daycare is still operating is wrong and says the state needs to do more to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
“I’m hoping that they really stay on her,” Lawrence added. “Who’s to say that it’s not going to happen again? So yeah I definitely think that something definitely needs to be done about it but I think they need to change some of their rules up when it comes to child endangerment, neglect and abuse.”
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