South Charlotte child daycare center under investigation for possible violations

Gateway Academy
Gateway Academy WBTV

Officials say an investigation is underway at the Gateway Academy Child Development Center on McKee Road in south Charlotte.

The Department of Health and Human Services is part of the investigation, and two police reports have been filed.

Company officials confirmed an investigation was launched after allegations that a teacher did not follow protocol while supervising a child. They said that teacher is no longer an employee.

“I never would have thought, because it's very respectful and people drive in and drive out. There’s nothing going on over there. It’s always quiet,” said a woman who was surprised when told about the investigation.

She says she’s worked as a caretaker right across the street from Gateway for the past six years and has never noticed anything bad about the daycare.

Online records show Gateway has been found in violation of various DHHS rules. Staff-to-child ratios were not met in one instance, and another inspection found that hazardous materials were not properly stored.

Recently a woman filed a police report claiming her child was inappropriately touched by another child at the daycare. Another police report was filed after referral from DHHS to police.

It is unclear if any of the DHHS violations are connected to the current investigation.

Cadence Education Company released a statement on the investigation Monday:

“We are aware of an allegation that a number of weeks ago, a teacher did not follow our protocol while supervising a child. Upon becoming aware of this alleged incident, we immediately launched an internal investigation and notified DHHS. While it would not be appropriate to comment further while the investigation remains open, we can confirm that the teacher involved is no longer employed by Gateway Academy and that Gateway Academy is not a part of any legal action related to this alleged incident. We continue to work closely with DHHS on the investigation.

We have recently strengthened our leadership team at the school, and we are committed to meeting all DHHS requirements and ensuring a safe, fun and nurturing environment for all children in our care.”

Officials say Gateway Academy is not part of any legal action related to the incident involving that former employee. There is no word on how long the investigative process could take.

The business is operating on a provisional license that lasts for a year.