FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. (WSPA) – Two people are accused in a child cruelty case at a Fountain Inn child care center.

According to warrants from the Fountain Inn Police Department, Kimberly Diane McCall and Joy Lynne Lashway, who were employees at Excel Academy, were each charged with two counts of cruelty to children. Investigators told 7NEWS, “a frozen sponge was placed in the shirt of the child in an attempt to keep the child awake.”

The Fountain Inn Department said it was notified when the victim’s parent alerted them.

According to records from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS), the agency received a complaint about Excel Academy on August 30 regarding “Discipline and Behavior Management.” The complaint is labeled to be of “high” severity, which DSS explained is considered to be the most serious violation.

This was the third complaint to be filed against Excel Academy since December of 2022, according to DSS records.

Fountain Inn Police said Excel Academy is cooperating with the investigation. DSS also confirmed it is participating in the investigation.

Excel Academy posted a message to Facebook Monday stating, “It is unfortunate that people, sometimes, make poor and dangerous decisions. Excel Academy isn’t immune to these baffling actions of staff.”

The Fountain Inn Police Department is actively investigating the allegations.

McCall and Lashway have been released on bond, according to officers.

S.C. Department of Social Services resources

DSS offers several resources for families who are choosing a daycare, including a checklist they can follow. It includes questions about safety, cleanliness, staffing and if the facility is licensed.

 The agency also offers tools on its website to file complaints.