State places child care center on probation after video shows worker smacking child, grabbing arms

FSSA inspected Watch Me Grow Childcare LLC

INDIANAPOLIS -- The state Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) placed an Indianapolis child care center on a three-month probation following an investigation into alleged child abuse, records show.

An FSSA consultant inspected Watch Me Grow Childcare LLC on Century Plaza Road on June 18, records show.

The investigation found a day care worker used inappropriate discipline including throwing a toy at a child, smacking another child on the arm, and pulling children by the arms.

The owner of the facility called FSSA after she learned a child’s arm was out of the socket, records show.

Video from inside the facility confirmed a worker was rough with children, according to the inspection report.

“Watched video of caregiver who was sitting on the floor with her legs crossed grabbing children by the arms to move them,” read the inspection report. “She threw a toy at a child, and then she smacked another child on arm.”

Following FSSA’s inspection, the state put Watch Me Grow Childcare on a three-month probation, and referred them to Child Care Answers for training on using positive discipline.

The state is collecting the names of families attending the child care so FSSA can notify them of the probation.

Call 6 Investigates called Watch Me Grow Childcare LLC Thursday, and owner Nicole King emphasized she was the one who made the report about the suspected abuse.

King declined to say whether the worker was still employed with the child care center, and King expressed frustration with previous news coverage about the facility’s previous violations.

“When you get done slandering my name, I’m gonna come for you,” said King before hanging up the phone.

State records show FSSA last inspected Watch Me Grow on Century Plaza Road in February 2018 and found multiple violations, including a caregiver without the required child abuse and neglect training.

Records show the child care facility corrected that issue by March 5.

Police have not said if any charges have been filed in the case.

According to the state’s CareFinder website, FSSA found the following violations on February 8:

  • Not enough water pressure at the sink in the 3's bathroom.
  • Missing feeding plans.
  • The weed mat on the playground is exposed making it a tripping hazard. Remove any broken toys off the playground. - 2 tikes and a teeter-totter.
  • Last fire drill conducted was on 12/13/17. Staff shall conduct fire drills in accordance with the rules of the FPBSC under 675 IAC. Drills shall be conducted monthly and the records available to document
  • One toilet not in working order in hallway bathroom * must be repaired within seven days.
  • Ceiling tiles with water stains in the infant room and 3's room
  • Ceiling tiles missing in the storage room.
  • The cabinet in the infant room needs to be repaired.
  • Toilet paper and paper towels must be in dispensers at all handwashing sinks.
  • Storage must have 24 inches of clearance - kitchen.
  • One caregiver needs child abuse and neglect training.
  • One caregiver working in infant room with expired CPR.
  • Medication in the kitchen. Medication can’t be stored in the kitchen.
  • Fire Extinguishers through the center are tagged Nov/ 2016.
  • Laundry room unlocked and chemicals and cleaners accessible. The hallway storage room was unlocked.
  • The floor in the kitchen must be made sanitizable - chipped and cracks tiles in front of sink. Oven needs to be cleaned. Front draw door on the cabinet is missing. Dishes cannot be dried on top of towels - cups and bowls.
  • Some CPR and first aid certification records expired or not in file

During its June 18 inspection, FSSA also cited the facility for the following:

  • Caregiver present in the room on 6/7/2018 did not report child abuse and neglect on incident of caregiver throwing toy, grabbing children's arms, placed child firmly on the ground, and smacking a child's arm
  • Infant bottles not covered correctly in refrigerator in kitchen and in the infant room
  • Caregiver did not have drape over her while feeding child
  • Milk in pitchers that are not in original containers not labeled or dated
  • Food waste is not in covered cans in school-age classroom

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers said previously they were looking into the accusations of child abuse.

Police have not said if any charges have been filed in the case.

HOW TO CHECK A CHILD CARE FACILITY:

  • Plug in a provider's name to ChildCareFinder.IN.Gov and look for complaints, inspection reports and any pending enforcements
  • Use your eyes and ears when visiting. Are they following safe sleep? Is equipment working? Are children strapped into their high chairs?
  • Drop by the child's day care unexpectedly during the day. What is seen at pickup and drop off may be very different than what's happening during the middle of the day
  • Ask to see the provider's license or registration, which should be posted in a public area. If the provider is on probation, it will say so on the license, along with the reasons why.
  • Ask to see a copy of the day care's discipline policy. Corporal punishment is not illegal in the state of Indiana
  • Ask what their current child-to-staff ratio is. Experts say accidents are more likely to happen when staffers are watching a lot of children.
  • Ask if the provider is part of the state's voluntary rating system, called Paths to Quality. The state said this helps guarantee they're meeting and/or exceeding licensing requirements regardless of type of day care
  • If you use an unlicensed facility, know they do not have to submit to background checks, CPR training, safe sleep training and other requirements. Ask to see proof your provider has completed these.

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