Glendale mom upset with daycare over alleged name calling

Posted at 9:12 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 07:14:02-04

A Glendale mom is upset at her children's former daycare after she claims a worker there used the "r-word" to describe her children.

With five kids all under the age of eight, Sarah Paul has her hands full!

"It's amazing and hectic at the same time," she explained.

As a working mom, Paul used to bring her kids to Happy Dayz III near Olive and 43rd avenues in Glendale.  That is, until she claims she overheard an employee bad-mouthing her babies.

"She was saying my children have a 'retarded gene.'" 

Paul claims she was returning to the daycare with another one of her children when she heard the worker. She was so outraged, she demanded a meeting with the employee in question as well as the daycare's owner.

Part of that meeting was posted on YouTube. To see the video, click HERE.

The work admits she did use the r-word, but claims she directed it at Paul, not at her kids.

The daycare's owner also tells ABC15 the word was never directed at any children at the facility.

Paul says it doesn't matter who was the target.

"I feel like that word shouldn't be used in terms to anyone, especially at a daycare center."

The owner agreed. She didn't want to go on camera, but she told ABC15 that kind of language is not acceptable. She also claims she has suspended the worker in question without pay.

The Department of Health Services confirms it is investigating what allegedly happened at the daycare.  The owner says she is cooperating and is also following all DHS guidelines.

In addition, the owner sent home a letter to parents, addressing the alleged incident.

"Happy Dayz III has been in business at this location since the past 3.5 years; over that time we have kept and maintained a clean, safe, and DHS-compliant environment for our kids – which is of prime concern to us.

We do not accept any behavior regarding abusive language for or from employees, students, or clients. What happened on Wednesday, April 19 at the daycare was an unfortunate incident that has been blown out of proportion on a social media post.

One of our teachers was overheard using inappropriate words – we strongly object the use of such words in a professional environment or otherwise. When this was brought to our attention, we took appropriate action on that employee by following rules required by DHS.

Before the meeting with the parent the employee was told that she would need to apologize to the client; she was also strongly reprimanded with a written warning in her personal file - this was her 1st complaint in the 2.5 years with us.

What followed was the conversation posted by the parent – which was recorded without the knowledge and consent of any of the people in the meeting!

The employee reacted differently than expected – and apologized to the parent on behalf of the daycare, not personally. The owner tried to defuse the situation in a professional manner to avoid a verbal escalation and heated argument. The employee had to be addressed after the meeting.

Since that conversation, the employee has not returned to Happy Dayz III.

Additionally, a “sensitivity” training has been conducted with all the employees.

The entire situation (and video) has also been discussed and reviewed with our surveyor at DHS.

We continue to provide a safe environment with qualified teachers and empathetic and professional owners. Thanking you all for your continued support and confidence in our services."