Chelsy Cooper says that although her two-year-old daughter Chyna came home from daycare with rows of braids missing and a cut on her lip, the facility didn't contact her to let her know anything was wrong.

By Rebecca Macatee
March 15, 2019
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Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

March 15, 2019

Every parent hopes their child's daycare is a happy, nurturing environment where at the very least, the kids are safe. The idea of a daycare provider actually harming a child is any mom and dad's worst nightmare, and while rare, incidents of abuse do happen.

A mom named Chelsy Cooper claims this is the case with her two-year-old daughter, Chyna. On Monday, Cooper posted photos to Facebook that showed her daughter with several rows of braids missing and a cut on her lip. According to Cooper, little Chyna incurred these injuries during a day at Childtime daycare in Federal Way, Washington.

"When I say I'm mad...I can't even describe it," Cooper wrote. "I cried so hard and never felt so helpless in my life. I took my 2-year-old daughter to daycare [at] Childtime and she came back home like this and no one knows what [happened] to her at all, no report or anything [and] they wouldn't let me check the find out what [happened] when they have live video throughout the day so I don't know why I can't roll the cameras back."

Cooper went on to say that "not one police officer came out" in response to her calls. "I called 911," she added, "and they told me they don't come out for calls like this [and] they will just have a officer call me."

Federal Way police Commander Kurt Schwan told Seattle Weekly that the department's Criminal Investigations Person Crimes Unit is investigating the incident and Child Protective Services has been notified.

Schwan said that children at the daycare "were involved in hair pulling. So obviously they are way too young to be involved with criminal intent. However, with regard to supervision, that's why this was referred to CPS."

Childtime's Director of Communication, Lydia Cisaruk, told, "We take our responsibility as caregivers very seriously. When a concern is brought to our attention, we conduct a comprehensive review, and take any appropriate steps based on the findings."

"We reported Ms. Cooper's concern to the Department of Children, Youth and Families in keeping with our processes," Cisaruk said in a statement. "We have not seen anything to indicate that the child's hair had been pulled or that the child was harmed in any other way by students or staff members. We believe our protocols were followed. We have reviewed video footage from that school day to understand what occurred and have shared the footage with the authorities to substantiate our conclusion."

"We are continuing to cooperate as the state agencies investigate," Cisaruk added. "Nothing is more important to us than our children's wellbeing."

There was more concern for the children's wellbeing—as well as that of parents and Childtime's staff—after threatening comments were written in response to Cooper's viral Facebook post. Commander Schwan told Seattle Weekly there was one that said "teachers would be shot" and "numerous other threats of violence against the school and its staff." As a result, the Childtime manager called 911 Wednesday night, and a police officer was at the daycare facility Thursday during closing to ensure everyone's safety.

In the wake of all this, Cooper is keeping Chyna home from daycare. "I am doing my best as I can for this not to happen," she told KIRO 7. "I cannot let this happen and be ignored."

The Federal Way Childtime daycare facility made headlines in 2017 when another two-year-old child got out through an unsecured gate and made her way into a busy street. That child was thankfully unharmed, but per KIRO 7, she no longer attends the school.

Obviously, reports like this are troubling, but the reason they make national news is because they're beyond unacceptable. There are all kinds of daycare facilities with different philosophies and structures, but any and every decent provider will prioritize the children's wellbeing above all else.

And daycare can be an amazing, enriching experience for kids and parents. What it ultimately comes down to is finding a quality daycare that's right for your child. When starting your search, begin with the basics: You want sensitive, trained caregivers, a low child-to-teacher ratio and a creative, fun and clean play space.

A reputable daycare facility will be happy to answer all your questions and allow you to observe the caregivers and children on any given day. Some daycares will be a better fit based on a child's personality and the parents' preferences, but talking with other like-minded moms and dads can be helpful in determining where your little one will be the happiest.