A Texas day care center reportedly duct taped children to their mats at nap time and withheld water so the toddlers wouldn’t soil their diapers, an investigation from the state’s regulator agency found.
The Heart2Heart Montessori Academy near Forth Worth faces negligence charges in their care of children, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services announced this week.
“The caregivers were withholding water from the children to avoid diaper changes,” the department said in a letter.
The state’s investigation was kicked off in June after a picture of a child duct-taped to a nap mat was shared among parents. The photo was taken by a former employee of the Texas day care and sent to the parents of the child.
The couple in question, Kristi and Brad Galbraith, are now suing the Heart2Heart Montessori Academy for $1 million for fraud and negligence.
Police are also investigating the day care and could be filing charges soon, Willow Park Police Chief Brad Johnson said.
The school offers classes for children age 18 months to 5 years, with tuition ranging from $150 for after school care to $625 for full-week care.
On its website, the Heart2Heart Montessori Academy had stressed personal attention to children.
“Our individualized education program is a Montessori based curriculum. Our classrooms are stimulating, yet comfortable for your child to easily adjust to. We address the development of each child by focusing on his/her intellectual capabilities, creative thinking. problem solving and social skills. YOur child will be challenged and helped to attain their greatest potential. We welcome this opportunity to get to know your child and family.”
Despite the charges of duct taping children to mats and withholding water, the Texas day care will remain open for a six-month probationary period. The probation came as a result of change in the center’s management, said Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzalez.