MERIDIANVILLE, Ala. – The owners of a daycare under fire have now surrendered their child care license after a former teacher captured aggressive treatment of babies and toddlers on video.
Thursday, the owners of Kiddieland Child Care Center and Preschool surrendered their child care license to the Alabama State Department of Human Resources' Licensing Department, effectively ending DHR's current investigation into the daycare.
Wednesday when DHR investigators arrived at Kiddieland, they found an abandoned facility. Investigators discovered the doors shut, signs removed and no staff around.
A concerned parent, Melissa Stoltz, went to the center to retrieve her child’s medications. She peered into the facility and knocked on the door to no answer.
She told WHNT News 19 she hadn't heard any word from the center since the videos were released and the center came under fire.
"It’s heartbreaking," said Stoltz who had an 8-year-old daughter who attended after school care there.
"It's not a place for a child to be, you know growing up in and you know they are here more than they are at home with their parents."
While shocked to see the aggression in the videos, she wasn't surprised.
"My daughter would come home from school or from daycare and would say mommy they are so mean to those little kids,” explained Stoltz. “They whoop them and they talk, you know, they cuss them. They make them sit in high chairs all day long and she says, I feel so sorry for them mommy."
Former teacher Amanda Boyett secretly captured evidence to be an advocate for the children at the center.
As for Stoltz, she knew something was wrong.
"Oh, definitely," said Stoltz. "It's hard dropping her off in the mornings here, because I can just hear it in their voices whenever I pull up and drop her off how angry they are."
But the child care reality, "not many to choose from in Meridianville,” explained Stoltz.
This incident has left parents vulnerable and upset.
"Honestly, I don't think they should reopen. I think they need to shut down because you know, it's not just the workers. Everything my daughter has told me has been true, and proven to be true," said Stoltz.
State DHR Investigator Barry Spear said although the current investigation has stopped, a new investigation could be opened at any time by DHR's Child Welfare Investigations Department.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office is also currently investigating the claims, as well. Madison County Sheriff's Office Cpt. Mike Salomonsky said the sheriff's office is taking the claims very seriously and will present any evidence to a grand jury for consideration.
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