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Mother files suit against day care; alleges daughter sexually assaulted by other child

Updated: Tuesday, February 25 2014, 05:36 PM CST
Reported by: Donna Kirker Morgan

HARRISBURG -- A local mother says her four-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted at a daycare by another child. That woman has filed a lawsuit saying the KinderCare Learning Center in Lower Paxton Township didn’t do enough to protect her child.

We interviewed the child’s mother at her attorney’s office in Harrisburg. To protect her child’s identity, CBS 21 will not reveal the mother’s name or show her face.

"I just want them to take responsibility," the mother said.

She filed the lawsuit against the KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., that operates the facility in Lower Paxton Township. The suit also names two employees at the facility.

Her attorney Scott Cooper says the woman’s daughter came home on May 11, 2012, and started describing some very inappropriate actions by another four-year-old girl who attended the daycare.

“Her daughter went home and she said this girl keeps saying something like the 'nasty,'” Cooper said.

The girl’s mother says she not only used the word "nasty" but also described things that were “beyond nasty.”

The mother says she told a staff member on Friday about the comments and was assured that the two children would be supervised at all times. However, just three days later, the suit says the two were left alone.

It was the girl’s mother who found the girls in a small cubby room, the suit says.

The mother found them and said they looked into the cubby room and saw the two girls, with the one little girl pulling her daughter’s skirt up.

Cooper says they tried to come to a settlement in this case but didn’t get any cooperation from KinderCare.

We reached out to the corporate communications office and received this statement:  "KinderCare does not comment on pending litigation. However, we take all allegations regarding the quality of care received in our centers very seriously, and fully investigate each and every allegation we receive. We view our families as extensions of our own, and the safety of the children in our care is always our utmost concern."

The facility in Lower Paxton Township deferred all comments to the corporate headquarters.

We also looked up state licensing records on the facility. We found that it was operating on a Provisional license in 2012 but made corrections.  It is now under full compliance.

The licensing and review of facilities is completed by an Office within the state Department of Public Welfare. It appears that the department made several inspections within the past two years and found various regulatory issues.

In 2013, the facility was cited for not meeting a state regulation that is mentioned within the lawsuit – 55 Pa. Code 3270.113 -- which requires staff to know the names and whereabouts of children under their supervision.

The suit also says the facility failed to train staff to properly supervise children on premises, failed to train staff to properly handle sexual abuse between children, failed to create protocol for handling sexual abuse between children, and created a dangerous condition by allowing two young children to interact without supervision.Mother files suit against day care; alleges daughter sexually assaulted by other child


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