State investigates Louisville daycare after neglect allegations - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

State investigates Louisville daycare after neglect allegations

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Nee Nee's Angel's Day Care II is located on South 41st Street in Louisville. Nee Nee's Angel's Day Care II is located on South 41st Street in Louisville.
Lanita Gant is the daycare's owner. Lanita Gant is the daycare's owner.
Michelle Ray Michelle Ray
Ameshia Ray Ameshia Ray

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Locking young children in a basement and ridiculing an autistic child: those are just two of the allegations leveled against a Louisville daycare.

State officials are investigating Nee Nee's Angel's Day Care II on South 41st Street. A mother and daughter who are former employees called Child Protective Services after quitting the daycare.

The owner says the claims are false and expressed surprise that the two former employers are coming after her. 

"They're very nasty allegations," said the daycare's owner Lanita Gant, "and I want to get to the bottom of it."

Ameshia Ray and her mother Michelle Ray said they called CPS after Ameshia's 5-year old son told them about an incident he said happened at the daycare when his mother and grandmother were not on duty.

"The owner's husband put his hands on him," Ameshia Ray said, "and locked him in the basement with other children."

Ray said she knows her son wouldn't make it up. "You listen to what the child is saying because no child is going to lie unless they're taught to," she said.

The mother and daughter also gave state investigators the name of a female staffer who they claim taunts an autistic child. "There's a little boy who's scared of the toilet, and she would stand with another girl in front of the bathroom, flush the toilet and make him urinate on himself," Ameshia Ray cried. "For them to torture that baby, that crushed me!"

The two say when they went to pick up their last check, the female staffer in question attacked them outside and other staff members left the children to watch the fight.  Ameshia Ray said more than 20 children were left unattended, including five infants.

Michelle Ray said she saw the owner's husband, Howard Gant, hang a child on a coat rack by his collar, "I've seen him make the little boys fight each other," she said, "and he takes pictures of that."

Lanita Gant had this to say in response to the accusation: "After speaking with Howard, of course, I knew those were all false."

Gant allowed WAVE 3 to go inside the daycare. She unlocked the basement door and said there was no way anyone would put a child there. She maintained the steps are old and any child would get hurt trying to get up or down them. Gant said of her accusers, "I believe every time this couple (the Rays) gets an opportunity to say or to state anything negative about anybody, they will."

Gant said she's the actual victim in the investigation, not only because the two are making false claims, but also because the mother and daughter threatened her daycare.  "I've hired an off-duty corrections officer," Gant said, "and she's here in the mornings with us, and if we need her here in the afternoons, she'll be here as well."

Gant says Michelle Ray lied about having a high school diploma and said her two former employees must just be trying to hurt her because of it.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services would only say its investigation is ongoing.

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