Family Services Inspects Daycare At Center of Toddler Fight Recorded By Workers
Since 10 Investigates first broke the story Tuesday on 10TV, Job and Family Services says they did an unannounced inspection of Stepping Stones Day Care. They aren't prepared to reveal what their latest inspection found - but 10 Investigates dug into their inspection reports to uncover more.
Cell phone and surveillance video from Stepping Stones Day Care Management are now in the hands of the city prosecutor's office.
They tell 10 Investigates they are "scanning the statutory books" to see which criminal charges they may file if they feel this evidence is enough to charge two fired teachers.
The video appears to show two teachers shooting cell phone video - instead of stopping the toddler fight lasting for minutes. Management says they fired both teachers after discovering this video.
Job and Family Services inspects all day care centers. This center passed the majority of compliance checks - with some exceptions. Since December 2013, inspectors flagged Stepping Stones Day Care three times for not having enough employees supervising children. One of the teachers fired for her role in the toddler fighting told 10TV on the phone lack of staffing lead to poor employee training.
Inspectors also found one employee, who they did not identify, "threatening children" and speaking in "harsh tones." That inspection happened July 24, days before the fight caught on camera.
Stepping Stones' owner says they now have staffing up to full levels. The owner adds employee "threats" flagged by inspectors were simply warnings to children that they'd call parents if bad behavior continued.
Security camera footage
Family services declined an interview, but said they viewed this video as "disturbing and disappointing. They add "the employee’s apparent behavior is unacceptable."
Both teachers defended their actions on the phone - one blaming lack of training and fear of injury for not stopping the fight.
To check out your child’s daycare center safety record, visit the ODJFS website.