Mother concerned about child welfare at local daycare

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  A Madison woman says she recently removed both her daughters from a Huntsville area daycare over child welfare concerns.

Michelle Bonnick's children attended Stepping Stones Learning Center for 6 months. Now she's gone to police because she said owners will not cooperate with her.

She said she's recently seen some major changes in her 4-year-old. "I noticed that my child was having some issue with dropping her off in the morning," explained Bonnick. "Just kind of screaming, crying."

Bonnick said teachers passed off her child's behavior as separation anxiety.

She asked her child's teacher to call if she noticed problems. "I received a text message at work saying she had, had some behaviors, kicking, throwing her shoes, scratching, all that. Which is just totally a-typical."

Bonnick said she requested a meeting with the staff and asked to see surveillance footage from her child's classroom.

That's when things became odd.

"What was most concerning was the director did express that there was some inappropriate conduct from the teacher in the video in relation to my child. We met with the teacher and she was very apologetic," said Bonnick.

But Bonnick said the staff would not let her see the footage for herself.

"We asked could we view the footage and they declined that. Said that we weren't able to do that because DHR mandated that they weren't able to show any video. However, after discussing the matter with DHR, they informed me that's absolutely not true."'

Her fear won't let her rest.

"Any mother would know it's heart-wrenching to even have to drop your child off to any daycare provider," she added. "But when you do drop them off, you want to make sure that they're loved, they're taken care of and they're definitely not being mistreated."

Something Bonnick said she's afraid isn't happening at Stepping Stones Learning Center.

WHNT News 19 reached out to the Department of Human Resources for clarification regarding camera policy at state-operated daycares. They have not yet responded.

Stepping Stones Learning Center issued WHNT News 19 a statement:

"This matter is a confidentiality issue. Unfortunately we cannot enter into any details. Every business has unhappy customers. We have had and still have a good rating with the Department of Human Resources. DHR has not been to the facility over this matter."

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