Parents react to allegations against El Dorado daycare owner

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) 5/25/21 — Following the recent arrest of a daycare owner in El Dorado, parents react to the allegations.

Brenda Gatewood, owner of Genesis Childcare Learning Center, is charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. El Dorado Police say they received a report from a parent in March of the alleged abuse that left bruises on the child’s arm.

Despite the allegations, some parents say they will continue to stand behind Gatewood.

“I talk with her on a regular basis and I’ve always known her to be a really sweet Christian lady and I know that she would never do anything like that to hurt anyone’s child,” Olivia Wood said.

Woods’ daughter has been attending the daycare for two years now and has never had any problems with the owner, her husband or the other employees.

“She loves my daughter, her and her husband do,” Woods said. “I’ve watched on the cameras and have seen them both holding, them both interacting with her in the classrooms and with other kids in the classroom too.”

Police say the alleged incident was caught on video at the daycare. The center gives parents access to watch what’s going on inside the classroom.

“I don’t know why she would do something like that if she knew everyone could see,” Wood said.

According to a spokesperson with the Department of Human Services, the agency was notified immediately in March about the allegations.

Chief Communications Officer Amy Webb said licensing staff had enough available information under behavior guidance licensing standards to immediately put the facility under interim action that prohibited Ms. Gatewood from being onsite.

In addition, staff pulled the facility’s ability to accept federal child care voucher funds, which meant moving 32 children whose care was funded through child care vouchers.

Gatewood’s husband was not there during the alleged incident and has been able to run the facility as he is listed as a secondary on the license which was issued in 2011.

On May 21, DHS says it notified Mr. Gatewood that the facility had been placed on probationary/provisional status for six months.

He has 10 days to appeal that decision which means increased monitoring visits, according to DHS.

After the six months, DHS will either convert the license back to full standing or recommend revocation.

Again, Mr. Gatewood would have time to appeal. If the license is revoked and the facility shuts down, DHS says it will work with families to find alternative care.

“It’s important to note that our job in licensing is not to shut down facilities that may have issues, but to work with those facilities to ensure families in communities have safe, stable places for their children to get care,” Webb said.

The daycare was cited last year for violation regarding physical punishment towards children but DHS says that was against an employee not the owner. That employee was immediately terminated.

“My family and I are praying for the situation that the truth will come. I want not only my baby and everybody’s baby to be safe.”

According to DHS, Mrs. Gatewood is prohibited from being on site.

Owner of Genesis Learning Center in El Dorado out on bond, accused of abusing a child in her facility

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) 5/24/21 — A daycare owner is out on bond tonight for allegedly abusing one of the children in her facility.

Brenda Gatewood, owner of Genesis Childcare Center in El Dorado, turned herself in to the El Dorado Police Department Monday morning while accompanied with her lawyer.

Investigators say there was a warrant out for the 61-year-old daycare owner.

Gatewood appeared in court today for her first appearance. She was released on a $5,000 signature bond.

She is charged with endangering the welfare of a child after police say they received a report from a parent on March 3.

The parent alleged she saw bruises on her child’s arm and the incident was caught on surveillance video from within the childcare facility, according to police.

They say it is extremely hard to watch and the video shows physical, verbal and emotional abuse towards the child.

We did reach out to DHS on the status of the daycare facility but haven’t heard back yet.

This is a developing story.

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