Jul 23, 2014 1:02 AM by Kristi Tedesco & Edgar Ybarra
TUCSON - Kristi's Kids uncovered a range of violations at Tucson daycare centers. Here are the four that stood out the most.
KIDS FIRST PRESCHOOL AND CHILDCARE on East Pima Street: In February of 2013, two kids got into an argument and when a teacher intervened, one child cussed at the teacher and spit on her.
According to report, the teacher then "slapped a child across the face as a form of discipline" leaving "two fingerprint marks."
Jeff Paye, the owner of Kids First tells Kristi's Kids this was an excellent employee who made a bad, split second decision. She reported herself to the office, was removed from the children and was fired two days later.
Valerie Armstrong, a grandmother tells Kristi's Kids, "Oh my gosh... I didn't know that..."
Paye tells Kristi's Kids "...we take these situations seriously and hold our teachers to the highest of standards because ultimately, we're here for the kids, the kids come first."
Kids First Preschool and Childcare was fined $100.
WRIGHT BROTHERS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY on Thornydale road: In December of 2013, a teacher flicked children in the forehead and the backs of their heads to discipline them. The state called this, "discipline that could cause harm to the health, safety, or welfare of an enrolled child." The co-owner of Wright Brothers tells Kristi's Kids, they took immediate action.
Pastor Sam Wright said, "...we investigated right away that day, determined that it was true and we let the teacher go and alerted the authorities."
The school then retrained the remaining staff and has doubled its annual training on discipline and classroom control.
Wright Brothers Christian Academy was fined $300.
KIDZCO EARLY LEARNING CENTER on E Golf Links: In February of 2013, the state determined that, "one staff member had forcibly grabbed a child by the arms, then flipped the child over and held her down by both wrists."
That employee was suspended then fired and the rest of the staff was re-trained.
In a statement to Kristi's Kids, Kidzco says it has a open door policy with parents and even performs "annual parent surveys."
Kidzco was fined $350.
LITTLE RANCH PRESCHOOL on Glenn Street: In March of 2013, the state investigated and found that there was a "failure to report and document eight incidents of alleged child abuse and/or neglect..."
Monique Richardson has a child there and says, she didn't know about the violation. She says her experience at the school has been great. "They're not perfect but... I like them. I haven't had problems with them."
Since the violation, Little Ranch says, it's stepped up its training on mandatory reporting and tells Kristi's Kids, "... we have been in early childhood education and care business for over 34 years and continue to be committed to running the highest quality early learning centers."
Little Ranch Preschool was find $400.
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