LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services suspended the license of a Louisville daycare center one day after an employee was accused in November of assaulting a toddler with a ruler. The business is owned by a woman who owned another daycare center where a toddler died in 2011 after swallowing a push pin.
An arrest report states, Joyce Green, 52, confessed to using a ruler to strike the 1-year-old child numerous times on the hand and buttocks while the child was in Green's care at Trina's Treehouse II at 4443 Cane Run Road on November 21. Police said the incident was captured on video.
Green is charged with 4th degree assault.
On November 22, The Office of the Inspector General for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services filed an emergency suspension of Trina Treehouse II's license to operate citing the incident the previous day. The Inspector General cited an investigation by the Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC) which found that the daycare failed to "provide for the health, safety, and comfort of each child" in its care.
According to the emergency suspension papers that were filed, a DRCC surveyor found that Green "physically assaulted a toddler enrolled at the center by spanking her on the bottom. When the child's father picked her up from the center, she was found to have serious bruising. Interviews with staff at the center revealed that the spanking was so loud that staff and children covered their ears. Additional information revealed that the same staff person (Green), and the director, Novella Clayburn, hit four children enrolled at the center with a ruler."
The DRCC determined an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of children in the care of Trina's Treehouse II existed, so it issued the immediate suspension of the daycare's license, and it was ordered to cease operations immediately. The emergency suspension remains in effect until the DRCC's investigation is complete.
In the fall of 2011, 2-year-old Jacorey Davis died at the Trina's Treehouse location at 32nd and Broadway after swallowing a push pin.
The daycare's owner, Katrina Clyburn, later was charged with 13 counts of making false statements in order to receive government benefits between 2009 and 2012.
An arrest warrant accused Clyburn of failing to report her correct income and failing to report that she owned Trina's Treehouse Daycare. State investigators said Clyburn collected $112,622 in food stamp, Medicaid and child care assistance money she wasn't entitled to. Clyburn pleaded not guilty to the charges in June 2013.
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