Parents Distraught Over Child Care Abuse Claims
DISTRESSED parents say their children were
bitten, kicked and punched by staff at a childcare
centre in Melbourne's outer east.
The Hallam Child Care Centre was closed last week by
the Department of Human Services after complaints
from parents and the launch of a police investigation.
A staff member who allegedly abused children at the
centre has been stood down.
Victoria Police confirmed it was investigating a
series of physical assaults at the centre but had
not laid any charges.
A woman, who did not wish to be named, told the
Herald Sun she was horrified at the alleged abuse.
Two of her children, aged three and two, attended
A mother of a three-year-old boy at the centre
alleged the children were locked in cardboard boxes
for up to 15 minutes at a time. "I'm more angry than
anything. I'm still angry," she said.
The woman said she no longer wanted her son to attend
a childcare centre.
But another mother of a child who attended the centre,
who also did not wish to be named, defended the staff
and said the allegations were false.
A DHS spokeswoman said an investigation was launched
immediately after complaints from parents were received
in late March.
She said the DHS investigation identified "serious issues"
with the centre's programs, supervision, staff
qualifications and conduct.
She said allegations of mistreatment were "not of
a sexual nature".
The spokeswoman said the DHS refused to grant a
licence after the operator of the centre failed
to rectify its concerns within 14 days.
"The operator was then given seven days to close
the service and DHS officers remained on site
until the closure," she said.
She said alternative places had been found for
all the children in the local area.
The privately-run childcare centre was licensed
to care for 35 children from birth to five years.
The Children's Services Register shows it was fully
licensed by the State Government at the time of the
The centre's operator did not return calls to the
Herald Sun yesterday.
POLICE yesterday confirmed a 19-year-old man had
been questioned over a series of alleged child sex
offences at a family child-minding business in
Melbourne's eastern suburbs.
The man was interviewed last week about alleged
offences dating back several years at the home
in the City of Whitehorse. He has not been charged.
Herald Sun (30-5-2005)
Geraldine Mitchell - Holly Ife