Families rely on and trust daycare centers everyday across North Carolina. A daycare center's reputation can be tarnished by just one employee. This spring Whitney Nicole Belk, a woman in Kannapolis, NC, faced 5 counts of assault and one count of child abuse. As an employee of a NC daycare center called Kids' Korner Development Center, Belk was accused of abuse by one of the children; surveillance videos later confirmed the abuse of the child as well as other children. Kids' Korner has been operating for over 25 years and immediately fired Belk after watching the video.
Belk's abuse was discovered because of physical symptoms experienced by one of the children. Sometimes it's difficult for parents to tell if there are problems at daycare. If physical symptoms aren't present, parents can look for behavioral changes like lack of affection, extreme mood swings, unexplained stomachaches, acting overly adult-like or infantile. Compare your child's behavior to other children who attend the same daycare center.
A highly publicized case occurred in coastal North Carolina almost 30 years ago. Making national headlines, the Little Rascals Day Care Center was run by a husband-and-wife team, Bob and Betsy Kelly. Unlike the more recent case, the Little Rascals Day Care Center abuse case involved 90 children who all required extensive therapy sessions. The convictions were later overturned by the NC Court of Appeals and all charges were dropped.
NC daycare centers operate under a set of laws and licensing inspections. Not only are daycare centers required to have these inspections, but so does anyone who cares for more than two children who aren't related to them for more than four hours every day. According to the NC Division of Childhood Development.
Who do you contact in NC if you believe your child is being abused at daycare?
- NC Department of Human Services
Child Protective Services Agency
A daycare abuse attorney is the person to speak with to learn if you have a case. Brent Adams & Associates works with families around North Carolina who file daycare abuse lawsuits. Our daycare abuse lawyers work out of Raleigh, Fayetteville and Dunn.