VALDOSTA – Tickle Me Pink Daycare and Academy owners are facing charges after an investigation indicated a failure to disclose a case of physical assault against a child, according to the Valdosta Police Department.
Police said an incident occurred Jan. 14, involving a daycare worker and a two-year-old child and was not reported to authorities until two weeks later. A former female daycare employee is accused of physically assaulting the two-year-old, and police said the daycare owners were told of the incident and failed to notify the child's parents or authorities.
Pamela Carter, one of the owners, is charged with felony false statement, felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor failure to report child abuse. Brent Carter, the other owner, is charged with felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor failure to report child abuse.
Both were taken into custody by Valdosta Police Department detectives, booked and later released from the Lowndes County Jail, now awaiting their day in court, according to the Valdosta Police Department.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the employee accused of physically assaulting the child but her name has not yet been released. The Valdosta Police Department has worked in tandem with Bright From The Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning in investigating issues with the daycare.
The Valdosta Daily Times will continue to update this story as more information is available.
The following is a statement from Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Chief Communications Officer Reg Griffin:
“On February 10, 2020, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) issued intended order of emergency closure for two child care programs in Valdosta --- Tickle Me Pink Daycare and Learning Center, located at 252 North Saint Augustine Road, Valdosta GA 31601, and Tickle Me Pink – The Academy, located at 102/104 Kelly Drive, Valdosta GA 31601. This action is taking place in conjunction with an investigation by Valdosta Police into allegations of inappropriate discipline at the first location. The provider has 48 hours to appeal the emergency closures to an administrative law judge with the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). Parents impacted by this situation can connect with child care resources at www.allgakids.org or by calling the toll-free number 1-877-ALL GA KIDS. Parents will be assisted in locating quality child care options. DECAL provides this free service to parents. At DECAL, our top priority is the health and safety of our state’s young learners.”
This story was updated at 11:48 a.m.
Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.