Evansville daycare under investigation after parents allege abuse

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Parents and former employees are speaking out as an Evansville daycare is under investigation by police. 

At least three families have filed police reports against Fireside Chapel Daycare since Tuesday after finding injuries on their children when they picked them up. 

Former employees tell Eyewitness News there have been concerns around the way babies and toddlers were treated at the daycare for months now, but more serious action wasn’t taken until a police report was filed this week.

“We were lucky enough to get out,” said parent Leslie Young, “I know so many people who tried to file complaints but weren’t successful.”

When Joshua Cook picked up his daughter from the daycare on Tuesday, he says a handprint mark was on her face. 

Cook says the director told him it was from another child, but he was confident it was from an adult and called police. 

Now more parents are coming forward saying their children have also left with injuries. .

“That night when I picked her up I realized she had a bite mark on her, “ said Young who Enrolled her daughter in the daycare in August. 

“I said it looks like she has a bite mark. They said ‘Oh it’s probably baby eczema and just left it at that.’ But it was a clear round bite mark and red when I picked her up.”

Young pulled her daughter out of the daycare immediately. 

Former employees say they witnessed the director mistreating multiple children, but one employee was fired when called the DCS hotline after seeing what she called mistreatment in early November.
 
State inspections found 32 violations ranging from issues with background checks and safe sleep training since 2016. 

Former employees tell us they were never given background checks or certified,and also at times left with too many children and too little employees because of a high turnover rate.  

“I told several people I was afraid it was gonna take a kid dying in the daycare…because I know so many people who tried to file complaints against her but weren’t successful,” said Young. 
Evansville police tell us the person at the center of the initial investigation is currently out of town, on a trip planned prior to reports being filed. 

They tell us the day care is now closed indefinitely as they continue to investigate. 

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(This story was originally published on January 31, 2019)

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