Parents rocked by allegations of mistreatment at Wake Forest daycare

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Thursday, July 21, 2022
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A parent has filed a report with the Wake Forest Police Department alleging child abuse stemming from incidents at a Wake Forest daycare facility.

WAKE FOREST, N,C, (WTVD) -- A parent has filed a report with the Wake Forest Police Department alleging child abuse stemming from incidents at a Wake Forest daycare facility.

The report, filed Tuesday, centers around the Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy in Wake Forest. The facility has cameras in the classroom and elsewhere in the complex, which parents have access to view live. In separate videos captured by parents, shared online and directly with ABC11, a worker is seen acting aggressively with children. One clip shows the worker knocking over a child with her leg, and then forcefully picking the child up. A different clip shows a worker pushing a child in a seat toward the table.

Makayla McClure's son attended the facility for four months before she recently pulled him out.

"He hated it. Going to daycare became the biggest hassle in the world. He did not want to go. Every single morning it was a fight getting him to go into daycare. He would act up so much to get out of there that I would have to leave work non-stop for like a week," said McClure.

She shared he had a generally positive experience the first 2 1/2 months, but things eventually soured. Her mother, the boy's grandmother, told her she witnessed one incident via live stream.

"They supposedly don't do timeouts, but the teacher had him by the arm up in the air, because she was really tall, and he was really short. So his arm was fully extended. So she had his arm fully up in the air, dragging him throughout the classroom, and would not let him go for anything in the world. And it was at least 10-15 minutes," McClure relayed.

McClure, who did not file the police report but has since spoken to authorities, said she voiced her concerns directly with administrators, but felt dismissed.

"There's absolutely no excuse for it whatsoever. These are kids. To me, if you can't have that much patience, to work with children, you definitely don't need to be there working with kids at all. Because the way they were doing it and jerking these kids up and pushing them and shoving them, and this that, it was very forceful," McClure said.

Off-camera, other parents spoke with ABC11 anonymously, documenting varied incidents dating to 2020.

In two cases, parents said they saw staff via live stream act physically aggressive with children, though not their own.

A different parent noted that her son spent about five months at the facility, and had three separate incidents, one of which she claimed included him being restricted from using the restroom.

Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy said the teacher seen in the video has been terminated.

NCDHHS performed an unannounced inspection of the 5-star facility last month, finding five violations, none of which involved any of the allegations from parents. All violations in that report have since been corrected.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education, which operates under NCDHHS, has not taken any action against the facility in the past three years.

Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy locations are independently-owned and operated, and these allegations involve only the Wake Forest location.

In a statement shared with ABC 11, owner/operator Stacie Williamson wrote:

We are in communication with the family involved and have extended our apologies and been available for any calls or meetings that they have requested. In the meantime, we are working closely with the Wake Forest Police Department, which has the case under investigation. Based on our own internal investigation, we immediately notified all parents of the incident and terminated the employee who violated our company's 'Code of Conduct.' In keeping with our longtime company mission to make sure every child in our care feels safe, loved and inspired, we are doing our part to make sure this matter never happens again and will begin this process with a mandatory retraining of all teachers and a review of 'reporting training,' which keeps all of our teachers accountable to one another.'