JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - St. Stephen Childcare and Learning Center, a faith-based facility, is now at the center of a Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigation.
The parents of a 3-year-old girl filed a complaint of sexual abuse by another child. They're outraged over what they say happened at the daycare."A child from the school during nap time pulled her pants down and kissed her," said the father, who requested anonymity to protect the family and child. "They explained to us that's a child shows their affection," he said.
The family said they understand appropriate affection and what they saw on the security video was not appropriate affection."He goes over to my daughter and he just starts to fondle with her pulling her clothes down," the mother said.
The video is approximately 30 minutes and there's no evidence of an adult in the room, monitoring or supervising the children."You can see him pulling up his pants and then he reaches down to pull up her pants," she said.
The daycare wrote up an incident report.DCF investigators have opened a case and so has the Jacksonville Sheriff Office.
"I want to know how how many times has this happened," she said. "Is this the only time? Is this something you all do during the lunch period go out an leave children alone?"For three years they've trusted the facility with their child, what happened has broken that trust.
"You're leaving your children in the care of these daycare [workers] and you think they're protecting them," the mother said. "In some cases this can happen to your child."They're hurt and they're angry, even so they want their experience to be a warning to other parents.
"I want people to be aware of this, but I would really like to see the daycare be held responsible for their negligence," she said.The pastor of St. Stephen AME is executive director of the daycare. Rev. Dr. David Green responded to calls, but had no comment.
"We have no comment at this time because it is under investigation, and will wait until the investigation is completed," Green said.A DCF spokesperson said they have two teams on the case: Child Protective Services and Child Care Regulations.
He described it as a very sensitive investigation that will look at safety as well as the supervision of the children.