INDIANAPOLIS. Ind. - The day care where a 1-year-old was severely beaten has been shut down. But, we’ve learned the other Kiddie Garden locations in Indianapolis are still open under the same owner.
As baby Jesse continues to recover from his injuries, his family says this isn’t only about justice for their child, but making sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
The Family and Social Services Administration shut down the Kiddie Garden Day Care near 38th and Keystone Ave. Tuesday after their investigation uncovered seven violations.
Although the owner operates multiple day care facilities in the city, the FSSA says they only checked the location where Jesse was severely injured, noting all others are in good standing and free to operate.
The scabs and scars aren’t slowing baby Jesse down. His mom says he’s back to his old playful self just three days after someone at the day care beat him.
“My kids was at day care and they had license and the state is allowing them to continue to take care of other people kids,” mom Tiffany Griffin said.
The day care worker on duty at the time says another child caused Jesse’s brutal injuries. The FSSA inspected the day care and found several violations:
- No drug screen completed for caregiver.
- No consent to release form submitted for caregiver.
- Fingerprinting for national criminal history background check not complete on caregiver.
- Unqualified caregiver present.
- Lack of supervision (2).
- Child abuse not immediately reported by caregiver.
“If you got all these violations, how are you allowed to open up another day care or keep your other ones running? If one shut down, the other one should shut down too. Because you didn’t call the cops. You’re the director,” Jesse’s father said.
The agency tells us no other Kiddie Garden locations were investigated and are operating in good standing based on their last scheduled inspection.
“I just want answers for my son. I want justice too. All of that stuff is cool and dandy and the laws and all of that, but I want to know what happened to my son,” Tiffany said.
Jesse’s father was set to deploy with the Indiana National Guard in June. He put that mission on hold to fight for his son.
“I can’t leave him right now. Like I can’t leave him and I can’t be in the right mind frame being overseas… I just can’t. So, it’s best for me to stay home with my son and to support her and support my family and seek counseling and get my mind back right to where it was before all this happened.”
According to online records, the other Kiddie Garden locations show similar violations dating back to 2016 for not drug testing workers.
There was even a violation for not having a smoke detector at one of the day cares. Those problems were reportedly addressed and again, the FSSA says those locations are in good standing.
Jesse’s parents tell us that’s concerning and hope this story will make decision makers think about taking another look at those policies.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses and future child care costs.