LAURENS S.C. (WSPA) – Two daycare workers have been arrested on charges that one of them abused a toddler in their care and the other failed to report it.
According to the Laurens Police Department, two women associated with the Laurens YMCA Child Development Center, located at First Baptist Church on Main Street, were arrested Thursday.
According to the department, Chandra Coleman, 66, a daycare worker responsible for a two-year-old victim intentionally harmed the toddler by pinching their cheeks to the point of injury and spitting on their face. She has been charged with unlawful conduct towards a child. Police said Coleman has been released on $10,000 bond.
According to investigators, a witness to the mistreatment reported it to the daycare’s assistant director, Christine Julia Roach, 49, who by law was required to promptly report the allegations to authorities, the child’s parents, or the Department of Social Services.
She allegedly waited nearly nine days before doing so and has been charged with failing to report child abuse or neglect. Police said Roach was released on a $3,000 bond.
“The agency does have a statute and a regulation that requires us to investigate those reports of abuse and neglect or wrongdoing, whether it is a child, vulnerable adult, adult setting, or in a childcare center,” said Connelly-Anne Ragley, chief external affairs officer with the Department of Social Services.
According to DSS’s website, the childcare center’s quality rating is a ‘B’, showing at least one other facility review and complaint made in 2021. However, DSS officials say having an A, B, or C, rating means the childcare center is actually exceeding expectations.
“Yes, I always tell folks it is unfortunate when these types of instances occur,” Ragley said. “However, that should not take away from the thousands of dedicated professionals that are working in childcare facilities across our state.”
DSS said, in 2022, they received more than 66,000 reports of child abuse and neglect to their hotline.
The police department is continuing to investigate the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864-681-2351.
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