Previous investigations at Vanguard Academy

A Louisville daycare is at the center of a police investigation after an employee is charged with child abuse.
Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville daycare is at the center of a police investigation after an employee is charged with child abuse. An incident that’s horrified parents as the details are revealed.

Turns out, it’s not the facility’s only incident.

The incident happened Thursday at Vanguard Academy in Norton Commons.

The arrest report says an employee there, 24-year-old Racheal Flannery, tried to force a bottle into one child’s mouth and purposefully dropped another on the floor, among other accusations. She was in court Saturday morning.

Childcare centers are inspected yearly by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The agency investigates reports of violations when they receive them and Vanguard has several of them.

The Vanguard Academy has been investigated at least 30 times since 2012.

Most of them show the daycare was not in violation of protocols, but other reports give us insight into some of the abuse claims of abuse at Vanguard.

“I just think that this has gone on for a long time and now they are finally being caught,” said one anonymous parent.

In 2019, a report says a staff member hit a 21-month old child with a vacuum with enough force to knock the child into a bookshelf.

Last year a staff member smacked a child who had their hand in their mouth. And then on the same day, staff grabbed a child by their arm and lifted them up, which made the child’s body twist 360 degrees and then fall onto their backside.

A parent who wanted to stay anonymous told me they enrolled their child into Vanguard in 20-18.

“I started him when he was 2 and a half because I wanted to make sure he was able to talk and communicate to me if someone was being mean or nasty to him, and this is exactly why,” the parent said.

The young boy was enrolled at the daycare for two years before parents started noticing something wasn’t right.

“There were some times where my son would come home with some scratches and bruises that we didn’t get any incident reports or anything,” the parent said.

Their son was complaining that his teacher was mean to him and refused to go.

“He would flat out throw himself on the ground, kick and scream every morning, when I was dropping him off for school and he would not go in there,” the parent said.

Many parents might chalk that up to normal kid behavior about not wanting to go to school. But these parents listened and pulled him from the school.

“He’s not the kind of child who kicks and screams and tells us that somebody’s mean unless somebody’s really mean and not treating him right. And we were like, ‘you know what, we’re not going to send him there anymore,” the parent said.

Flannery’s bond has been set at $50,000 cash.

We went to Vanguard on Friday after the arrest and asked the director if they wished to respond. Her answer: no comment.