BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — A Blue springs day care worker has been fired after allegedly abusing a child.
But another woman who worked in the facility says action wasn’t taken soon enough. And it turns out, there’s a history of concerns at the center.
Kristina Mayfield’s worked in child care nearly four years. She was excited to start with KinderCare on N.W. Woods Chapel Road in Blue Springs last month.
“I was like, this is where I want to work because it’s with foster kids, and I can show them love because I’m adopted. So I could be able to relate to these kids. But when I got in there, it was literally something totally different,” Mayfield said
On day one at KinderCare, she said one of the teachers worried her.
“She was just very aggressive as far as yelling, picking up the children by arms. You’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to put your arms around them like mid-waist,” Mayfield said.
After lunch that day, she said things had only gotten worse. She found a little boy in tears and offered to take him in the hall to diffuse the situation.
“We walked up and down the hall and I said, ‘Are you just having a rough day?’ And he was like, ‘No. The teacher slapped me on my stomach.’ And I said, ‘Let me see.’ And so he showed me and he had a huge hand-print on his stomach,” Mayfield said.
She first talked with another teacher at the school, and the two of them reported the abuse to their supervisor.
“When we went, she laughed and that was kind of it,” Mayfield said.
She said other teachers later told her multiple complaints had been filed against the same worker in the past — but that employee had never been fired.
“I was shaking. I was scared for him and scared for the other kids. I think just how a lot of the teachers were in that day care. I didn’t like it,” Mayfield said.
And it turns out, she was right.
This summer, KinderCare in Blue Springs faced two state investigations, including one for physical abuse of a child. The victim in that case told investigators a teacher had “put his hands on her arms” leaving “red marks.”
The punishment was just a state-ordered training class.
“I think that worries me the most is the supervisor, director, just wants to sweep it under the rug. Because a lot of these kids in there are in foster care, so they don’t really have anyone to speak up for them,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield also feels she was fired for speaking up after just a week on the job. She only missed one day of work and had a doctor’s note, saying she shouldn’t return to work for two days.
She just hopes by speaking out, the day care will now make changes.
“I hope they can take this situation more seriously,” she said.
KinderCare’s corporate office issued the following statement in response to the most recent incident:
“At KinderCare, we work hard to provide every child with a safe, nurturing environment to learn and grow in. All of our teachers receive ongoing training to ensure that all children in our care remain healthy, happy, and safe. We take all concerns about children’s safety seriously and follow a very specific protocol anytime a concern is raised. Part of that protocol includes reporting the concern to the family of the child involved right away. We also report the concern to licensing and CPS and work with these agencies to look into the matter further. The teacher involved in this matter no longer works for KinderCare”