Police investigating claims of child abuse at Whidbey Island day care

OAK HARBOR, Wash. — Whidbey Island moms are outraged after videos surfaced showing what appears to be a child care worker spanking and roughly handling children.

“That place should not be open. That place is not safe,” said Breia Brumfield, who announced to other Whidbey Island Moms on Facebook that she wants to press charges.

The videos show a now-former employee at Children’s Academy in Oak Harbor appearing to spank a child and rolling over a resting child in a rough manner.

Jan Alger, the owner and director of the day care center, says she was not in the room when it happened.

“I’m only in this business to help the community and the children. I was very upset when I heard,” said Alger. “I let her go that day, called my licenser and called police.

Two other pieces of evidence are now at the heart of this controversy: a photo appearing to show the same teacher using body weight to restrain a student and another video where a child is shown resting on a pad during quiet time.

The video was also sent to KIRO 7. However, the child’s family asked us not to air it.

“It’s pretty hard, as a parent and watching those videos knowing my child was in their care for a year,” said Amber Bovee, a single mom who has since pulled her kids out of Children’s Academy.

The Oak Harbor Police Department tells KIRO 7 that investigators were notified of these claims on May 3. According to an official press release:

“Videos of the incident were provided to Law Enforcement last week. The Oak Harbor Police Department’s Investigation Division is investigating this report and conducting follow up, including interviews with current and former employees as well as the parents of the involved children. The initial report indicated a worker inappropriately spanked one child and turned another child over in an aggressive manner.”

Oak Harbor Police say the day care center is cooperating with investigators.