Police: Two Child Care Providers Molested Four Children

5:41 PM, Oct 15, 2010   |    comments
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CENTREVILLE, Va. (WUSA) - - Minnieland Private Day School prides itself on its 40 year history in Virginia, describing all 50 locations as "safe and loving environments." But according to police, four children have been sexually violated by the very people paid to care for them.

"It's infuriating," said one parent.

At the Centreville daycare, 22-year-old Siyamand Salahzadeh is charged with sodomizing 4- and 5-year-old girls.

Managers tell 9NEWS NOW he was on the job just a few months, passed criminal background and reference checks, and even underwent 16 hours of training - all requirements by the state.

9NEWS NOW has learned state inspectors issued dozens of violations at the Minnieland in Stafford Lakes, including one in February where an inspector reported a staff member "instructed children to inappropriately touch each other."

That was 22-year-old Ryan Murray who now faces 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to giving two six-year-old boys candy in exchange for the sexual act.

Angel Wilson just started sending her daughter to Stafford Lakes. She says she never knew. "The director is very warm, the teachers are very nice but that doesn't excuse them for not telling me," she said. "I have to go home and talk to my husband."

Click here to check on your child's Virginia day care provider where all inspection reports for the past 5 years are listed.

Below is the statement from the company COO.

Contact: Chris Schuster, Chief Operating Officer
703-680-2548 ext 3276 cschuster@mlpds.com

Woodbridge, Virginia-- Minnieland Private Day School, Inc. is continuing to cooperate with the Fairfax County Police, Child Protective Services, and the Division of Licensing in an ongoing investigation regarding a former Minnieland employee who has been charged under suspicion of inappropriate contact with two children in our center. Minnieland deeply regrets that this incident occurred at our center. Providing a safe and loving environment in which children can learn and grow has been our mission for nearly 40 years, and we are committed to taking all actions necessary to insure we meet this objective. Minnieland management has met with all of the parents and staff at the center and is continuing to offer support during this difficult time.

Minnieland meets or exceeds all licensing standards including those for staff ratios in our classrooms. All employees are considered provisional within the first 30 days of employment, where they receive their initial training, orientation and classroom observation. Managers conduct an evaluation on an employee's progress in training and in the classroom after which the individual may earn regular employee status. The seventeen managers, teachers and staff at Minnieland's Compton Village facility have a combined experience of 131 years in early childhood education, with four degreed teachers and managers and two additional employees with Child Development Associate certificates. The Director of this facility has a degree in Psychology with a focus on child psychology.

Our standards of safety and security have been and will continue to be paramount. All of the teachers and staff at all of our schools have undergone criminal background and reference checks along with CPS Central Registry checks. The electronic access entry system allows only authorized persons to enter the center. Sign-in and sign-out procedures are in place at each center and classrooms have observation windows. Each of the measures above was in place at our school in Compton Village. In addition to our standard measures, we are taking immediate corrective steps by instituting some enhancements to our security safeguards. Among them:

Our staff at all our schools is presently undergoing enhanced training in recognizing and preventing abuse and neglect. Our goal is to have every staff member take this training by November 30, 2010.

Video surveillance equipment has been installed in our Compton Village center. Most Minnieland centers currently have cAs. We will evaluate all centers that are not currently equipped with camera systems to determine the feasibility of adding video monitoring.

We will continue to hire qualified early care and education professionals. Our managers will continue to be vigilant in monitoring their buildings on a regular basis, especially during naptimes.

We will review all room arrangements in our classrooms to maximize visibility while remaining developmentally appropriate.

Minnieland will continue to utilize criminal background check tools and CPS registry checks.

Nothing is more important than the trust of the families we serve. Corporate management and trained counselors will be made available to the parents and children at Minnieland at Compton Village to answer questions and concerns about our safety and security policies

Written by Delia Goncalves

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