CHESAPEAKE, Va. - It has been almost a week since parents with children at Deep Creek UMC daycare were notified of a Child Protective Services investigation but several families have reached out to police since then.
Social media has lit up with allegations that children were hit, punched, choked, dragged, locked in a closet, grabbed by the face, arms pulled and more. The church said they only know about the incidents reported to them by CPS, but said they are willing to look into others.
News 3 spoke to a former employee who wanted to remain anonymous and said she never witnessed any abuse, though others did. She reminds these workers they are mandated reporters and should have called to report what they saw.
Many former employees have said they told the director who did nothing about it. Others said they feared they would be fired if they said anything and some even claim to see the director engage in abuse.
The former director and the interim who replaced her have since both been replaced by a permanent employee, according to the church.
According to the police, as mandated reporters, daycare workers are required by law to contact CPS or the police if they witness child abuse or neglect.
This mom and former worker told us she is frustrated to hear the alleged abuse went on for so long, "we are mandated reporters by law we have to report this stuff," and added CPS or the police should have been called years ago.
Chesapeake police confirm they now have five active child abuse cases related to the Deep Creek United Methodist Church daycare. Anyone who wishes to call them to talk or report a crime is urged to dial 757-382-6161.
Child Protective Services can be reached at 1-800-552-7096.
On Wednesday the church encouraged parents to contact them with concerns or questions. They said they want to know any abuse allegations so they can be addressed.
We reached out for comment again Friday to the church but have not had a response.