Rockingham County day care where workers charged with child abuse forced to shut down by state

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- A Rockingham County day care where two workers were recently charged with child abuse is being forced to close, according to documents obtained by FOX8.

In documents sent to Lil’ Daydreamers Child Development Center's operator from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the state said it is suspending the license of the center.

"This action is based on the agency's findings that conditions at the center represent immediate danger to the health, safety and welfare of children receiving care at the center. Therefore, emergency action must be taken," a notice of administrative action from DHHS said.

Lil’ Daydreamers was told to close at the end of business Tuesday. The suspension of the center's license will remain in effect for up to one year or during proceedings to suspend or revoke the license, whichever is longer.

On Feb. 15, Nekeisha Latwanna Walton, 39, of Eden, was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse after an investigation into reported abuse at the center.

On Feb. 22, Mary Neal Winchester, 55, of Reidsville, was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse stemming from the investigation.

According to warrants, Walton is accused of picking up a male child by the arm and carrying him across a room. She is also accused of forcefully grabbing a female child by the arm, jerking her and then pushing her over. They also showed that Winchester grabbed a female child by one of her arms and slung her against a cabinet before picking her up and dropping her on the floor.

FOX8 was also able to obtain the search warrant deputies used to get access inside the center. It says that the investigation started after the parents of a 13-month-old boy filed a report after seeing scratches on his leg. Deputies seized the day care owner's cellphone, copies of documents and surveillance video.

Both women were taken to the Rockingham County Jail on a $10,000 secured bond.

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