Eastside daycare under investigation for abuse

Photo illustration by Amanda Loman

COOS BAY — Sprouts Learning Garden is being investigated for serious allegations of abuse.

The daycare that operated in Coos Bay’s Eastside area, at 622 D St., fell under state scrutiny after reports of abuse reached the Office of Child Care. OCC and partner agencies began an investigation, which included reaching out to parents whose children had been attending Sprouts.

“As part of this investigation, staff from OCC visited the site and found the facility closed,” said Peter Rudy, the public affairs specialist for the Office of the Deputy Superintendent for the Oregon Department of Education, in an email to The World.

Not only that, but Rudy said his office was then informed by the owner of Sprouts that they “were surrendering their license while under investigation.”

“We cannot provide further comment on an open investigation except to say that as a result of surrendering the license, Sprouts Learning Garden LLC cannot care for children for five years,” Rudy wrote.

The World read through the allegations found on an Oregon Department of Education child care safety website. Some of the allegations are classified as “valid.” According to the state’s website, “Every regulated facility receives at least one announced inspection and one unannounced inspection every year.” These inspections are done by ODE’s Early Learning Division. “Valid” classifications are when an allegation is confirmed by the director of the facility or a partner agency.

For the Eastside daycare, the complaints include that the facility allegedly withheld food and water from the child care children, an infant allegedly being placed in a back room called “the dungeon” alone and unsupervised on a daily basis with no heat, and one of the child care children allegedly striking an infant. According to the allegation, “teachers stated the infant deserves it because the child cries all of the time.”

Another allegation included children being called names like “demon child” and that the director allegedly yelled in children’s faces and grabbed their arms.

Another alleged that an infant was swaddled so tightly “the infant can not move and will cry when swaddled,” the report read.

Most of the valid allegations are dated from as recently as last month.

This story will be updated as more information is released.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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