TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG/Gray News) – A Toledo day care worker got fired after she was accused of hitting a child in an incident caught on the facility’s surveillance video.
The alleged assault happened Wednesday afternoon at Bright Beginning 24Hr Childcare.
The video shows a group of children eating lunch in a room and one child is standing near an adult employee. The video shows the adult taking the child’s arm and feeding him. The 3-year-old spit out the food and that’s when the employee hits him across the face.
Cassie Sullivan, the boy’s mother, says she just happened to be at the day care picking up a younger sibling who had a fever. She decided to take both kids home, but when she went to enter her son’s room, she knew something was wrong.
She says he was crying and had a welt on his face.
The mother says she asked her son multiple times what happened, but he refused to say while they were still inside the day care. Once they got to the car, he told his mom the employee hit him.
Sullivan says she immediately called the owner of the day care to explain what her son described and returned to watch the surveillance video.
Sullivan said she dropped to the floor when she saw how hard the employee hit her son.
“My apologies do go out to the family and the boy for the situation that did happen,” says Kristeen Hill, owner of Bright Beginning. “We never expected it. It’s hard.”
Hill posted an update to parents on Facebook following the incident and explaining what happened Thursday. In the post, she states that child abuse is not tolerated at their facility.
Hill says the employee in question was fired on the spot, police were called and charges are being pressed against the former employee. She also says the employee had 20 years of experience working in childcare and passed an FBI background check before she was hired.
“They have to go through extensive training,” Hill said. “They have to go through a background check and they have to be cleared by the state. The state cleared her to work in childcare and we took the state’s word for it.”
As for Sullivan, she says she has no plans to put her children back in day care and is scared that this woman may have hurt other children in the past. She is also pursuing charges against the employee and is hoping the day care will review old surveillance video to see if any other children were hurt.