It's never easy to leave your baby in a daycare facility or with a nanny or sitter. But it's what millions of families need to do, when both parents work. You spend so much time researching facilities to find the perfect place for your kids (and to find the place you can afford, because childcare is insanely expensive). And sadly, you can never really know if the daycare provider you've chosen is going to do everything in their power to care for and keep your children safe while in their care. It's such a hard position to be in! It doesn't help when we hear all these stories of abuse and neglect at daycare facilities around the country. The latest story comes out of North Carolina, and we're going to be honest, this one will shock you and fill you with anger.
Authorities in Knightdale, North Carolina have arrested 51-year-old daycare worker Kimberly Boykin, after they say she intentionally broke the leg of an infant in her care, and then tried to cover up the crime. The abuse occurred at a daycare facility called Widewaters Learning Center, where Boykin was an employee. Devan Sullivan arrived at the center to pick up her 6-month-old son, Ethan. Devan says that she knew something was wrong as soon as she went to pick him up - according to the mother, Ethan was finicky and fussy and not acting like himself. Boykin told Devan that the baby had a fever, but no one at the center notified the mother of that at any time during the day.
Devan left Widewaters and immediately took Ethan to the emergency room, where doctors determined that the baby had a broken femur. Devan filed a complaint with local police, who launched an investigation into the incident in conjunction with Child Protectives Services, the Safe Child Advocacy Center, and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities found that Boykin had twisted the boy's leg, which resulted in the fracture, and then lied about the injury to cover it up. She was arrested four months after the incident and charged with a felony - negligent child abuse resulting in serious injury.
Shockingly, this is not the first time Widewaters Learning Center has been investigated. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services visited the center and found several violations, including workers leaving children alone to punish them and workers threatening to hit children with rulers. Boykin was released last week on $50,000 bail awaiting her next court date. Widewaters Learning Center is still operating.