CALL 6: Mother speaks out after toddler injured by older child while at day care

Two day care workers are charged with neglect
Posted at 11:17 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 08:00:21-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- The director and an employee of an Indianapolis day care were charged Wednesday morning after a 1-year-old child was hurt while at the facility.

The director, Ashley James, and the employee, Brandi Bonner, were charged with neglect resulting in bodily injury.

Prosecutors believe an 11-year-old child intentionally hurt the 1-year-old at Live, Laugh, Love and Learn on Oct. 1.

The day care is located in the 6700 block of E. 38th Street.

Lashawna Payne said it was her 1-year-old daughter who was injured. She said day care workers initially tried to lie about the toddler's injuries, so she demanded to see the video recording. 

On that video, Payne said she saw the boy repeatedly hitting, punching, scratching and tormenting her little girl.

"I expected her to be separated (from the older kids)," said Payne. "I didn't expect her to be subjected to such abuse. I didn't send her there to be mingling with other children."

Call 6 Investigates did some checking and found Live, Laugh, Love and Learn is an unlicensed registered ministry, which means they do not have to separate children by age like a licensed center would have to do.

A spokesperson for FSSA, the state agency that regulates child care, said they cited the facility on November 2 for lack of continuous supervision, lack of safe sleeping practices and not following child to staff ratios.

The state also decertified them from receiving CCDF federal vouchers on November 22.

Payne said she is glad she did not take the day care worker’s word for it, and insisted the day care and police investigate.

“It’s important for parents to make sure you look into what the day care workers are telling you,” said Payne. “I’m not saying that every time a kid gets hurt at day care they’re being abused but it’s important to look into it.”

Payne has decided to stay home for the time being.

Her daughter suffered physically and emotionally from the day care incident, and still has visible scratch marks, months after the fact.

“It doesn’t make me happy they got arrested, but it makes me happy that I protected my kid,” said Payne. “It’s out of my hands. I did everything I could to protect my child and I hope all parents will do the same thing.” 

Call 6 Investigates reached out to the day care for comment on the criminal charges, but a worker said the director was not in and declined to comment further.

Bonner is accused of not providing adequate and continuous care to the 1-year-old as the abuse happened.

Investigators believe James became aware of the child's injuries, and left Bonner to care for the eight children at the facility.

Indiana state law requires licensed day cares follow a certain ratio of children-to-staff. That ratio is dependent on the age of the youngest child.

For more information on the children-to-staff ratios, click here.

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