A childcare center in Andover has been cited for maltreatment after an investigation found an employee had "tossed" and dropped two children to the ground.
The incidents happened on Apr. 19 at the KinderCare Learning Center at 1485 Bunker Lane Boulevard Northwest, involving two children aged 3 and 4 who were "resisting" coming inside for lunch.
A witness at a nearby gas station saw the female staffer yelling at the 3 year old, grabbing them and walking them to the door before they "kind of pushed" them against a wall, causing them to hit their head on the sidewalk.
They then saw the employee drag another child to the door and "dumped [them] like a sack of potatoes," according to the findings of a Minnesota Department of Human Services report.
The second child hit the ground face first.
A short time later, the staff member reported that the same employee grabbed the first child again while inside the facility, when the child refused to sit at the table and kept pushing their chair away.
The employee pushed the child's chair back to the table 5 times before they "grabbed [the child] under the arms and set [them] on the carpet pretty aggressively."
Another staff member then asked the employee to leave for the day.
She had been previously seen being rough with children, and heard calling them "brats" and "stupid."
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Neither child was injured during the incidents, the DHS investigation determined, but it did say there was evidence the staffer's actions "represented a substantial risk of injury" to the children."
The employee is no longer working at the childcare center, while all other staff members received extra training as a result of the investigation.
The DHS found KinderCare's policies were adequate, but the employee wasn't following them.
In a statement to BMTN, KinderCare said the actions of the teacher "were not reflective of our commitment to the high-quality care and education we provide."
"At KinderCare, we work hard to provide every child with a safe, nurturing environment to learn and grow in. We never want to see a child in our care hurt and take all concerns about children’s safety seriously."
"Though we have policies in place to try to prevent incidents like this from happening, this teacher did not follow our policies," it added.
"This teacher has not worked at KinderCare since this incident, and over the past two months, all of our teachers at the center have since been retrained on proper child guidance. We’ve worked closely with the families whose children were involved in this incident."