A daycare in Alpine at the center of a complaint alleging a young teacher poured water on a sleeping toddler's head was cited by social services last week, a report confirms.
The California Department of Social Services made an unannounced visit to the Alpine Children’s Academy on Oct. 18 in response to the child abuse allegation. The moment when the teacher poured water on the sleeping 1-year-old was captured on cellphone video and posted on social media earlier this month.
A Department of Social Services Facility Evaluation Report filed on Oct. 18 found the facility's infant classroom was not properly staffed.
"On multiple occasions between Sept. 2, 2019, through Oct. 9, 2019, there was no fully qualified teacher present in the infant classroom," the report stated. "It was determined during this time, two (2) teacher aides were left alone in the infant classroom throughout the day, with no fully qualified teacher present."
In response to the citation, the owner of the Alpine Children’s Academy has assigned a facility director to the infant classroom until a qualified infant teacher is hired. The daycare said it is in the process of waiting for that new teacher’s clearances to be approved.
The Department of Social Services told NBC 7 Wednesday that no citation was given to the Alpine Children’s Academy for the water incident, but rather for the violation of not being properly staffed in the infant classroom. The department said the daycare responded appropriately to the water incident by dismissing the employee involved and, thus, was not cited for that.
The Alpine Children's Academy operates under three different licenses: one for infants; one for children ages 2 to 5; and one for school-aged children. The latter two licenses were found to be compliant.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was called out to investigate the allegation of child abuse stemming from the water incident on Oct. 10 after the video made its rounds on social media.
The person who allegedly poured water on the toddler was teacher Alyssa MacGrath, 20, who is the daughter of the daycare’s director.
The person who reportedly took the video was Taylor Middleton, also 20, a teacher's aide. Both women were fired immediately by the director.
The owner of Alpine Children's Academy told NBC 7 the family of the toddler in the video is still using the daycare's services. The owner said the family was appreciative of how swiftly the facility handled the situation.