SHARECOMMENTMORE

LYMAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- If you drive by Sunshine Child Care and Preschool along Alfred Road in Lyman, the only sign you'll see of any daycare are the remnants of a playground.

Owners, Cheryl and Daniel Dubois have packed up and moved on, amid allegations of child abuse.

NEWS CENTER spoke with a parent who says she's most upset with the state for not doing enough to protect the children at the center.
Sara Bacheldersays the Department of Health and Human Services has known about abuse at Sunshine Child Care and Preschoolfor more than a year, and neglected to inform parents or even properly punish the owners.

In May of 2012, an employee of Sunshine Child Care tipped off DHHS about abuse at the center. An investigation was launched, and then a letter sent to the center from a member of DHHS acknowledging things like restraining children, slamming them onto the floor, grabbing their hair, and using derogatory names.

However, the letter also said that the department would be taking no licensing action at that time. In fact,the departmentdidn'tissue a Conditional Licensefor the centeruntil one year later. Parents want to know why that abuse was allowed to continue for so long, and why they weren't made aware of it.

DHHS can't comment on specific circumstances but officials tell us they take every accusation of child abuse seriously and investigate it fully.

Bachelder says while the child care center has since been shut down, she fears thatthe ownerswill simply move on to another state and open another daycare, and that this abuse will continue someplace else.