Daycare Gone Wrong: Toddler Fight Club

As schedules become increasingly busier many parents are looking to place their children in daycares. Daycares are meant to be safe spaces for children to learn and interact with other children while parents are at work. Unfortunately, some daycares fail to satisfy the required standards, such is the case of a New Jersey daycare.

Two employees at Lightbridge Academy daycare in New Jersey decided to run a toddler “Fight Club”. The daycare employees had approximately a dozen children aged four to six striking and tackling each other. Erica Kenny, who was one of the supervisors, made a Snapchat video of the children rumbling and shared it with her followers. Kenny was heard encouraging the children to fight each other while reciting Fight Club dialogues in her Snapchat video. Fortunately, the video was recorded by a viewer and shared with the authorities. To make matters worse, Erica Kenny is a teacher’s aide and Chanese White is a teacher.

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The two employees Kenny, 22, and White, 28 were criminally charged for their behaviour. Both employees were charged with fourth degree child abuse. Kenny was further charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Both employees were fired. The daycare continues to insist this was an isolated event.

Parents were outraged to learn what had occurred in the daycare. One parent went as far as to state her son had returned from the daycare with a broken finger and she now questions if it was a result of the toddler wrestling ring.

That’s the U.S what about Ontario?

Updated Child Care Laws in Ontario

Ontario is trying to tackle the shortcomings of the existing childcare legislation by updating legal standards set out in the the Daycare Nurseries Act (DNA). As of August 31, 2015, under the new rules of the Child Care and Early Years Ac t (CCEYA), the only requirement for an unlicensed daycare is that there must be less than five children under the age of 6 (not including the daycare owners own children) being supervised at one time. This limitation applies regardless of the number of adults in the home.

In August of 2016, the government would like to make an amendment that requires unlicensed providers to count their children under the age of 6 and can only take care of two children under the age of two. In August of 2017, the legislation aims to “include children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old in the total care of children they care for”. Noncompliance may result in administrative penalties and convictions that may include fines.

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Points of Discussion:

1. What are your thoughts regarding Ontario’s proposed updates?

2. Do you feel the decision against the employees was just? How would you do it differently?

If you are a parent or know someone who has child in a daycare, please share this piece and help educate others about the law.

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10 comments

    1. I can imagine the shock. I was appalled after reading about this in the news. I really empathize with the parents. It’s hard enough to put your children in someone else’s care without worrying that they will be mistreated and abused. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I was wondering how Americans were reacting to this incident. I hope to hear more from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing. While I think the law is well intended, there’s no law that will prevent child abuse. The number of the children at the care facility in this case was not the problem. The problem was the sickening minds and hearts of the people caring for the children. Such people are a danger whether they are care for one or one hundred children, and there’s not way to outlaw insanity. Of course, we can try to limit the damage such demented people can do by imposing reasonable restrictions on daycares etc. Still, no law can prevent it. I think we need to keep that in mind, otherwise we’ll be prone to go to far with our regulations. At least that’s my two cents. Thanks for sharing. Audrey

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Audrey! I see where you’re coming from, it is difficult to prevent child abuse despite our best efforts. I believe you’re also right that the government is working towards deterring child abuse by putting in places sanctions. It’s an unfortunate reality that is hard to combat. Thanks for sharing! I hope to hear more from you in the future!

      Like

  2. Because I knew nothing of this incident beforehand, the title of this post made me think the content was going to be comical, but I’m sickened to learn this actually took place. My heart goes out to those families affected by this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reducing the number of children that a caretaker has to look after isn’t going to solve anything. My sister works in a daycare facility and is licensed, and has witnessed a child being abused by a c-worker. This is going to happen regardless of the location and whether or not one is licensed or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Humza,
      I’m so sad to hear that! It is scary to think that our most vulnerable members of society can’t be safe. Having said that though, I know of some great daycares that do treat children very well. I believe a big part of it is how employees view their role – is it a job? or taking care of the child’s best interest? It really does make a difference. Now the government obviously can’t change the mindsets of teachers, teacher aides or daycare employees but I believe it also can’t sit back and do nothing. I believe that’s why this legislation aims to at least put in place a mechanism where they can limit the amount of children in a facility to at least make sure the children are easier to take care of and it’s easier to take action against violators. If you have fifteen children to take care of, you can state that you didn’t see when a certain event took place vs. if there are only 5 you can’t use that as an excuse. You are liable. Although neither is a defence in court, it just makes it easier to rule against the guilty party.
      I do agree with you that this could happen anywhere.

      I hope to hear more from you in the future! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

      Like

  4. This is indeed appalling. We trust these professionals with our kids and they misuse our trust. I agree that this could happen anywhere. The offenders need to stay behind bars since it’s only a reflection of their perverse mind set. Who knows what could happen if they are set free? Today’s it’s gaining sick pleasure from these innocents, tomorrow it could be a more serious case! Serious action needs to be taken and strict guidelines need to be put into place. I urge parent to trust your instincts, if your child is complaining about day care, don’t brush it off! Investigate.

    Like

    1. I think you have a very valid point, if parents have reason to suspect that their child is in danger they should take immediate action to protect their child. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I hope to hear more from you in the future. 🙂

      Like

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