A report by the Virginia Department of Social Services says two teachers at a child-care center routinely engaged in cruel treatment of toddlers in their care, including stepping on their toes and giving full-pressure sprays from a water hose.
Prince William County Police say they launched a criminal investigation of reported abuse inflicted at the Minnieland Academy at The Glen in Woodbridge.
The department investigated following a complaint. It cites cruel treatment over a six-month period this year by two staff members who were not identified by name, InsideNova.com first reported.
According to the report, the two staffers encouraged fights among the toddlers in their care and dunked children known to be scared of water into wading pools.
Minnieland says it fired the teachers involved. Prince William County Police are investigating the allegations.
In September, a teacher at a Gainesville Minnieland location "roughly handled" a child, leaving marks.
"I saw them dragging a child, many times," Sammy, a former employee of the Ashland Minnieland Academy told News4. "It was always the younger children. They weren't listening so for some reason, [the employees] thought the should drag the child."
Sammy said she left the job after witnessing these acts.
"Kids were not changed for over four hours," she said. "They had diaper rashes when they got home and the parents were not happy. They were giving moldy bread to children."
Minnieland has 55 locations in Northern Virginia. Sammy told News4 Minnieland corporate offices are out of touch.
"I mean they're not encouraging it, obviously," she said. "They're also not making sure people are getting the proper training they're supposed to get."
News4 contacted Minnieland's corporate offices, who said the other alleged incidents were reported by staff and immediately responded to.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington