An at-home daycare in Vero Beach is under investigation after a young girl took cell phone video inside the home, which her parents called concerning.
The 11-year-old, Anaztajah Rodriguez, spoke to WPTV with her parents’ permission Friday.
She said she had only recently started going to Nana’s Daycare with her younger sisters, and started becoming concerned with how some children were being treated by the homeowner, she said.
“She was being a little rough with them. She was being very mean and I didn’t think it was right,” Anaztajah said,
She told her parents.
“They said they need some proof to actually get into this so I started to record.”
Within a two-hour time frame, she said she captured a couple moments that she thought were inappropriate.
“When she pushed one of the kids into a toy,” she described.
Another clip appears to show her hitting a young boy’s arm.
“And it was like literally for no reason at all.”
She sent the videos to her stepmother and her mother. They picked her up and gave the videos to the police.
The Department of Children and Families launched a child protective investigation.
No one at the daycare would comment Friday night.
DCF can not comment about ongoing investigations, but released the following information to WPTV at request:
DCF’s primary mission is to protect the vulnerable, especially Florida’s children. A tremendous amount of parental trust and responsibility is placed in child care providers across Florida. When a parent drops their child off, they trust that their child will be safe, and well cared for. DCF takes the quality of child care very seriously and holds all licensed child care facilities accountable for ensuring the health and safety of children. When a child care facility does not meet the state’s child care licensing standards, DCF takes the appropriate and immediate enforcement actions for each violation, including providing technical assistance, administrative actions, fines, and suspension or revocation of the facility’s license when needed.
A “family day care home” means an occupied residence in which child care is regularly provided for children from at least two unrelated families and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, whether or not operated for profit.
This home daycare registered with DCF in March of 2018.
DCF does not have the authority to inspect registered family day care homes per section 402.313, F.S. unless there is a complaint or allegation of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. All child care personnel must complete a level II background screening and required DCF training before opening. Registration must be completed each year.
Anyone seeking employment in childcare (including registered day care homes) must meet the criteria in s. 435.04, Florida Statutes, for the Level 2 background screening. If the applicant has a criminal history that includes an offense listed in that section, the person is disqualified. In addition to level II background screenings every five years, FDLE retains fingerprints for all individuals required to be screened by DCF. If a person screened through the Clearinghouse is subsequently arrested, FDLE notifies DCF of the offense. If the offense is a disqualifying event (section 435.04 F.S.), the individual's eligibility is temporarily revoked pending the court disposition. This applies to any individual who requires screening under DCF.