LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) – Two parents are questioning what kind of accountability a Louisville day care received after their young daughter’s hands were bound together by an employee.
“She’s adorable, she’s sweet, she’s kind,” Nina Colvin said of her daughter.
“She’s got me wrapped around her finger,” Nina’s husband, Chris Colvin, added.
The Colvins thought their daughter, who had just turned 4 at the time, would adjust and be OK going to day care. They found a place, formally known as Outer Loop Child Care.
One day in April 2021, their bubbly 4-year-old seemed a little off.
“She said ‘Mommy, Miss Miah tapped me up today,’” Nina Colvin recalled. “And I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ She said, ‘No, like taped me up.’ She did, like, tape around her arms.”
The surveillance video showed the person tasked with caring for their little girl kneeling on top of a table and missing a shoe.
It also showed what their daughter had described: the employee, Ramiah Douglas, binding the girl’s hands with tape during nap time.
The Colvins’ attorneys said she was left with her hands bound for about 40 minutes.
“It was my child, and I was not there to protect her,” Chris Colvin said.
“It changed her personality,” Nina Colvin described. “She’s terrified that somebody’s going to hurt her again.”
Douglas was fired immediately. But the incident was only the start of what the Colvins would find out about the employee, WAVE reported.
According to court records, she had previous arrests for possession of marijuana, which were either amended down or dismissed, four separate citations for not having registration or a valid license plate, and a prostitution charge.
That charge was also dismissed after she agreed to no longer post on Backpage, a classified advertising site seized by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2018 after facilitating multiple counts of prostitution, according to court records.
While Douglas’ previous citations didn’t cost her jail time, the Colvins are still waiting to find out what qualifications she had to work with children.
“I would not have hired that woman,” Chris Colvin said.
Douglas was arrested and found guilty for binding the child’s hands after Nina Colvin called police.
It’s unclear if Outer Loop Child Care, which has since sold, ever did a background search on Douglas.
What is clear is that the day care had a history of not conducting or keeping any records of criminal background checks for their employees, according to the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services.
WAVE found three other times where state inspectors wrote the center up for it. In fact, the center had more than 50 violations in less than 10 years.
They included poorly kept employee records, a lack of the required state training or evaluations and four repeated violations for no proof of or expired tuberculosis vaccines.
“You put them somewhere that’s a professional establishment, and they failed us,” Nina Colvin said.
Other violations were repeated, like having bleach and cleaning chemicals accessible to children, dirty toys, and holes in the wall where slugs and birds had made a home, to name a few.
For two years in a row, they were also written up for unsanitary, ripped diaper changing stations.
Keeping an eye for themselves was something the Colvins couldn’t do come March 2020.
“We weren’t allowed in anymore because of COVID,” Nina Colvin said. “We had to stop at the door.”
But, despite the seemingly thorough inspections, the state kept renewing Outer Loop Child Care’s license.
On the state’s daycare inspection portal, there are no mention of fines, suspensions or revocations.
That’s after state records show violations for a child’s shoulder dislocated by an employee, another child rug-burned from being dragged on the carpet, a child’s head slammed into a cot, and another student being locked in the bathroom for seven minutes as punishment, all under the same owner who terminated those employees each time.
“Did anybody’s parents know about these violations at all, because did they report them to the parents or did they just write them up and stick it in a drawer?” Chris Colvin asked.
The violations continued until Outer Loop Child Care was sold. Despite that, its most recent state rating still shows three out of five stars.
As for the Colvins, they’re hoping the pandemic and what they see as a lack of accountability doesn’t put more children at risk.
“If you don’t adhere to that standard, you don’t have a license,” Chris Colvin said. “It’s as simple as that.”
“You have our most important asset, our child,” Nina Colvin added. “You need to do better.”
Outer Loop Child Care has since been sold to a new company. The new owner said they have nothing to do with the day care’s past and have started from scratch.
Douglas’s attorney declined to comment. WAVE is still waiting for a response from the state and from Outer Loop Child Care’s attorney.
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