A 57-year-old day care worker is facing child endangerment and assault charges after she allegedly physically abused two children, ages 11 and 2, entrusted to her care and then abandoned them at a West Philadelphia day care center Sunday.
The alleged incident happened shortly before 10 a.m. after the mother of the children dropped them off at the Future People Day Care Center at Ludlow and South 57th Street.
Police say the woman, later identified as Genel James, pushed the 11-year-old girl and hit her 2 -year-old brother in the face. The little boy reportedly went to the bathroom on himself before the alleged attack, according to investigators.
Police say the girl called police from a phone inside the day care. The woman then locked the front door of the center and left the children inside, according to investigators.
Tanor Tody, owner of the day care center, told NBC10’s Monique Braxton that the woman was hired when she opened the 24-hour day care center two years ago. She says she is stunned at the allegations.
“I was called this morning by the cops. I came rushing here. I was told that she had an altercation with the kids. I've done a lot of training and went through a lot of requirements to be here, so this saddened me that it happened here,” said Tody.
Tody says the worker called her to say that the children had been unruly but the woman claimed that she did not abandon the children inside the center.
NBC10 found that all of the day care center’s licenses and permits are current. Tody says that the suspect cleared a thorough background check.
“She will be reprimanded but I have to let her go because that type of behavior is not tolerated,” said Tody.
Tody hopes that surveillance cameras will reveal exactly what happened.
The mother of the children, who did not want to be identified, says the children had just started attending the daycare center on Monday.
She told Braxton that the incident is an “unfortunate accident” and does not blame the day care center but “feels the person needs help.”
James was arraigned early Monday morning. Her bail was set at $100,000.