Posted at: 05/15/2013 10:42 PM
Updated at: 05/16/2013 10:53 AM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Records from the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) show a downtown Albuquerque daycare center was cited for keeping allegations of child abuse and employee drug usage a secret from the agency.
The investigation into the Wesley Kids Childcare and Preschool, near Lead Avenue and Third Street, was initiated by KOB 4 On Your Side. In March, two former employees approached the investigative team with serious allegations of child abuse and neglect by staff members. In consultation with KOB’s management and legal staff, the 4 On Your Side team determined the information should be turned over to the proper authorities in case there was a risk that children’s safety was in danger.
CYFD investigated the case and generated a report a month later. According to the report, Wesley Kids Childcare and Preschool violated CYFD’s mandate that force daycares and preschools to report change in staff or suspicious activity. According to the document, “a staff member was terminated for roughly handling children and smashing a child’s finger.”
The report goes on to say that management suspected that some employees were using drugs, passing them around, and possibly attending to children while intoxicated. CYFD cited the daycare for never reporting the problems and trying to keep it all a secret.
“It’s mandatory that they contact CYFD to file a report on that,” said CYFD spokesman Henry Varela.
KOB 4 On Your Side also learned Wesley Kids management never informed parents of the problems happening inside the daycare.
“Well, I know they fired some employees but I didn't know the details," a parent said during an interview in the parking lot.
When KOB approached management to get their side of the story, the daycare’s director issued a no comment and shut the door.
It’s unnecessary for any parent to be uninformed about what is happening inside your child’s daycare or preschool. Before enrolling your child in any facility, CYFD strongly urges you to investigate the daycare thoroughly.
With a few keystrokes, information about every daycare and pre-school in the state is at your fingertips. Every inspection of every facility is on CYFD’s website, newmexicokids.org.
The website shows reports and complaints from the last two years. If you want older information, you can get it by calling CYFD.
"We found that it was very important that we give the public an avenue to be able to view these daycares and preschools," Varela said.