ONLY ON 13: Daycare worker accused of mistreatment, squeezing neck of child

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Allegations of child abuse at Cypress area daycare, Tracy Clemons reports. (KTRK)

A daycare worker is under investigation after disturbing claims of abuse from a child.

"Maybe a month or so ago, she told me her teacher was being mean to her," Robin said.

When her four-year-old daughter said it again Monday, she knew it was serious.

"I said what did she do. She said she squeezed the baby's neck and she told me the baby's name."

Robin asked her baby girl what the teacher did to her and it nearly brought her to tears.

"She said mommy she squeezed my neck. And I said show me how did she do it. She said she squeezed my neck like this and it hurt. I asked did you cry, and she said yes ma'am."

That bombshell sent her marching straight to the KinderCare in the 17500 block of West Little York.

"So the director said she would start an investigation. She would talk to the other kids and she would talk to the teacher," Robin tells Eyewitness News.

They went back a few hours later. A Harris County Sheriff's Deputy met them there. The mother of the other child whose neck the teacher allegedly squeezed overheard part of that conversation and asked her what was going on.

"I told her what happened and all she could do was cry," Robin said.

That mother tells us her two-year-old son has delayed speech development, so he's not able to speak. Both filed a report with the sheriff's office. They are leery about sending their kids back.

Robin says her daughter went back for half a day Tuesday, but the teacher was not there.

KinderCare says she's on administrative leave.

In a statement, a KinderCare spokesperson says:

"...We are working closely with Licensing and the Harris County Sheriff as they conduct their own investigations and as WE look into the issue. The teacher involved won't return to the center until all of the investigations are complete."

"And if you're doing this to a child who can't speak, who else are you doing it to? So for the safety of the other kids, I don't want her back at that day care at all. I don't want her to work with another child, period," wondered Robin.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is asking any other parents who believe their child may have been a victim to contact the Crimes Against Children Division.

Here is KinderCare's full statement:

We are sorry that two children at our Bear Creek KinderCare Learning Center may have been treated disrespectfully while in our care. Offering a safe and nurturing learning environment to all of our children is the most important part of what we do at KinderCare. We take any concerns about our teachers very seriously, and we train our teachers extensively to ensure every child's safety.

Once this concern was raised to our attention by one of the parents, we reported it to State Licensing. We also placed the teacher involved on administrative leave. We are working closely with Licensing and the Harris County Sheriff as they conduct their own investigations and as we look into the issue. The teacher involved won't return to the center until all of the investigations are complete.
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