BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A metro dad is taking his concerns about a Blue Springs daycare center to the streets. He claims his son was verbally and physically abused at Creative World off Hwy. 40.
Chris Ross has been standing outside the daycare all week, holding up a sign about what he says happened to his son inside the daycare. His child no longer attends the facility, but he wants to warn other parents to dig into anyone you trust with your children.
— Kera Mashek (@KeraFox4KC) October 13, 2017
Creative World Daycare looks pretty nice and new. Chris Ross said when he and his wife needed childcare this past March for the 4-year-old son Cayden, it checked all the boxes.
"During orientation, the teacher was marvelous," said parent Chris Ross.
But he says not long after Cayden enrolled, he got worried about his son's teacher. Chris says he witnessed lack of supervision and verbal abuse to kids.
"It was just a very hostile environment all in all," said Ross.
He claims he repeatedly asked for Cayden to be moved to a different classroom and that didn't happen until almost September. Chris says the new teacher was no better than the first.
"We kind of gave her a little bit of leeway until he reported having been assaulted," said Ross.
He says he was never given an incident report, so he had to contact the school to find out what happened. The teacher told the school Cayden reported other kids attacked him. She didn't see it happen, so she checked his stomach but didn't see a bruise. Nothing else was done.
"That was just very frustrating that we felt we were not being taken seriously," Ross said.
He recently pulled Cayden out of Creative World, and has since filed a complaint with the state. His wife's been checking online for a final report on their concerns, and just saw a different one that echoed some of their same concerns.
That report is from an incident in 2016 at the same daycare. The state interviewed employees who admitted they'd seen a co-worker "use profanity" and "harsh words", both "in attempt to ridicule" kids. Co-directors also said that same worker would "yank and pull" children, act "rough" and "force children's heads down" during nap time.
The state deemed the complaint substantiated, but only ordered employees to review the licensing rule book and take a two hour class on child discipline.
"That was rather upsetting to me considering the severity of the things that were listed in the report," said Ross.
Other creative world locations isn't the Kansas City area have also faced disciplinary action in 2016 and 2017, for inadequate staff-student ratios, a teacher who used a magic eraser on a child leaving chemical burns, and a little one who escaped a playground twice when they should've been supervised.
Those are all reasons Chris Ross has been taking his worries to the streets, holding a sign outside the daycare to warn other parents to thoroughly vet anyone you trust to care for your kids.
"Don't be caught up in looking at the facility and the people there telling you these wonderful things. Make sure you do your own individual research. Look into state websites, but also other people's reviews online through Google, etc. because they are also putting that out there that this is a problem," Ross said.
Chris says Creative World's corporate offices contacted him Friday before our interview, offering cash to keep him quiet.
Late Friday afternoon, Creative World answered our request for comment, by issuing the following statement:
"The safety of our students, families, and staff is our first priority. Our Creative World Schools operate in strict compliance with state licensing standards that ensure the safety of our students. Any complaints we receive are investigated and carefully reviewed in accordance with our policies and procedures. We are confident that all internal and external protocol has been, and will continue to be, observed with professionalism."
If you want to research any child care facility in Missouri for past complaints and violations, you can do so by clicking on this link.
For Kansas facilities, click here.
FOX 4 also reached out to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which has oversight of childcare facilities in the state about its actions involving Creative World, and the location in Blue Springs. It offered the following response:
"Creative World School – Countryside, at 19701 A SW US Highway 40 in Blue Springs has been licensed since November 1, 2013. Since that time, the state has received four complaints, two were substantiated (both are online) and two were unsubstantiated.
There is one complaint that substantiated rule violations related to physical discipline, not physical abuse. The facility was asked to have all their staff take a training on appropriate discipline.
Regarding penalties, the state looks at each case individually. We review the facility’s licensing history, look at the nature of the violations, and the action(s) the facility took in response. The state can issues letters of warning or censure, probation, denial of an initial or renewal license, revocation or suspension of a license. The Section for Child Care Regulation does not have the authority to issue fines."