AUBURNDALE, Fla. — A Polk County preschool has been cited for violations related to one of its workers being arrested on child abuse charges.
- Little Bloodhound Preschool receives two Class I violations
- Michelle Wilkerson, 36, was arrested earlier this month
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The Department of Children and Families has opened a child protective investigation and childcare licensing review of Little Bloodhound Preschool in Auburndale.
Its former worker, Michelle Wilkerson, 36, of Winter Haven, was arrested and accused of physically and mentally abusing five children under her care at the preschool. The alleged abuse was caught on camera, according to authorities.
David Ocasio, spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, said the department has cited Little Bloodhound Preschool with two Class I violations, the most serious a daycare can face, along with a third Class III violation for not having personnel files updated. Ocasio said the two Class I violations are related to the abuse, neglect, and discipline allegations. According to Ocasio, if the preschool receives a third or more Class I violations, the Department will file an administrative complaint to suspend, deny or revoke the preschool's license.
Jail records indicated Wilkerson had been arrested numerous times in the past, including the same day she was hired to work at the preschool.
The preschool's director, Michelle Ore, said they did a background check when they hired her.
"We did the FBI check, we did reference checks. This was not seen. People gave us good reference on her. Nothing was on her background," Michelle Ore said August 14, the day authorities announced Wilkerson's arrest.
Ocasio said the department learned the preschool never updated its roster to include Wilkerson's name in the clearinghouse, which notifies daycares when its workers have been arrested.
Wilkerson’s arraignment is scheduled for September 17 at 8:15 am.