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Children’s Authority to probe day care centre

Published: 
Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Children’s Authority says that citizens have a right to report any mistreatment of children.

Public education and communications manager of The Children’s Authority Cheryl Moses-Williams said if there were concerns about the treatment of children these should be reported to the authority.

Moses-Williams said this after a video on Facebook which showed the questionable treatment of children at a pre-school and day care in the East/West corridor was brought to its attention.

The video, sent to a T&T Guardian reporter, showed a caretaker surrounded by five young children between the ages of three and seven years.

In the video the caretaker is seen throwing water on the naked body of what appears to be a young girl while the other naked youngsters wait for their turn.

The area is cluttered with what appears to be pieces of furniture or appliances.

“They need to make a report to the hotline which is 996 or 800-2014. If they (citizens) are concerned about an activity, if a situation of abuse arises, then report it to the hotline,” she said.

Moses-Williams said even journalists, who might stumble upon questionable activities, must take action.

“It is important to take action on seeing wrongdoings. We all have to be responsible and take it. It is incumbent upon you to step in whether it is the police or the Children’s Authority. It is important,” she said.

Investigations are ongoing.

A concerned neighbour said: “Every day they bathe these children, all naked together boys and girls outside the school. There is no door in the bathroom and no door in the toilet. It’s not right to strip these little children every day in the open like that and bathe them.”

The neighbour, who refused to be named, said other residents and strangers can see them from buildings opposite the day care which is near the Priority Bus Route.

“My concerns are … bathing naked boys and girls ages from three and up in the open. The place is unsanitary and there is broken glass, broken tiles and pipes,” she said.

“No child is suppose to be treated like that, lining up to take a shower.”

Antonia De Freitas, first vice president of the T&T Unified Teachers’ Association, said the Children’s Authority Act makes provision for the protection of children and for those who mistreated them to face the necessary penalties.

“The Ministry of Education set standards for criteria which are supposed to be met in caring for the children,” she said.