BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bradenton day care has been forced to shut down after allegations of child abuse and child neglect surfaced.
On July 11, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about child abuse allegations at the No Limits Learning Academy at 2015 75th St W in Bradenton.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigation Division and the Florida Department of Children and Families began investigating.
A DCF official said that on Tuesday, the agency issued a no-contact order against director JoAnn Erickson, denying her access to the children for up to 90 days. As a result, the daycare was forced to close.
A sheriff’s office spokesman says there are no reported injuries, but because of privacy concerns, they cannot disclose what took place.
“We’ve interviewed all the employees that were there and may have witnessed something, may have been involved in something. We’ve also talked to numerous children who may have witnessed something,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow.
No charges have been filed at this time.
“We’re not saying that anybody’s gonna be found guilty of anything or anybody will be charged with anything, but certainly, when there are allegations out there involving children, they need to be investigated,” said Bristow.
DCF Spokesperson Natalie Harrell released this statement- “The safety of the children at the facility is our top priority. We are working closely with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office CPI Division as we determine next steps for the future licensure of the facility. We will take any action necessary to ensure the safety of children at the daycare.”
DCF reports the daycare has a capacity for 119 children and at the last inspection there were 50 children present.
The state agency frequently does inspections of the daycare. Inspections over the past few months have not revealed any alarming cases of child neglect or abuse.
The sudden announcement left parents scrambling. Miranda Hardin was called on Tuesday evening to quickly retrieve her son Frankie.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. I didn’t believe it,” said Hardin.
Hardin says her son loves the daycare. They give personalized attention and have helped her young son thrive.
“They were very sweet, kind, and they seem to really care about the children, and I fell in love with it instantly,” said Hardin.
This latest news has been difficult for her and her son.
“It broke my heart to explain to him that he couldn’t come back to see his friends,” said Hardin.
“I work full time, so I’m trying to scatter to find a new childcare facility until this is over with, because I’d be happy to bring my son back here,” she added.
She’s hopeful this issue will pass.
“This place is amazing, they really do care about their children,” said Hardin.
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