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Woman charged with abusing infant at unlicensed Henrico daycare

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Three women operating an unlicensed Henrico County daycare are facing multiple charges, including child abuse.

“My daughter came home from daycare and she had a humongous bruise and scratches on her left thigh,” said a Henrico mother who did not want to be identified.

The tearful mother says it happened at the Little People Academy that was located at 6020 Brook Road.

She initially thought maybe her daughter fell, but further investigation revealed more serious concerns.

“It was so severe that you couldn’t make that assumption. Something serious had happened,” said the mother. “It was a very big bruise and it was very deep and scratches right above it.”

A photo shows bruises on a child.

A photo shows bruises on a child.

The unlicensed daycare was forced to close a month after opening after a visit by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

VDSS made the on-site check September 29, the same day the mother reported her 11-month-old was injured.

“Somebody did put their hands on her,” said the mother. “I tried to contact the care workers at the daycare and didn’t get any answers.”

In a follow-up visit, VDSS found that there were 22 children in the care of the unlicensed providers.

Formerly Little People Academy

Formerly Little People Academy

The mother said after reporting it to police she took her daughter to the hospital and got Child Protective Services involved.

Tanya Dawson, 42, was arrested Sunday and faces nine charges, including child abuse and neglect, assault and operating without a license.

CBS 6 spoke with Dawson’s husband Monday afternoon. He said he cannot comment on the case, but he did say his wife has been in child care for over 20 years and she’s never been accused of child abuse.

Samantha Tolson, 27, and Latoya Scott, 37, also face licensing and interfering with commission representative charges.

daycarearrest

“I’d like to see them get what they deserve,” said the mother.

The mother says her trust was broken and hopes parents will learn from her story.

“Check your resources because I thought she was in the best care ever. When I go back and think about it, I wonder what did my daughter feel in that moment. I know she won’t remember it but that’s tough,” said the mother.

On October 4, 2016 Henrico Police began to investigate a report of alleged child abuse and/or neglect.  That investigation coincided with a separate investigation being conducted by the Virginia Department of Social Services and Child Protective Services.

The women were arraigned Monday morning and have a preliminary hearing February 9, 2017.