Aiken daycare worker arrested, allegedly swung child into furniture

CSRA News

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A North Augusta woman is facing charges after allegedly hurting a child at an Aiken daycare.

22-year-old D’aja J. Brown was taken into custody Wednesday at the Aiken Detention Center after warrants for her arrest were filed following an incident at the 109 Summerwood Way location of Sunshine House Educational Daycare in Aiken.

Brown was booked into the detention center on a single charge of Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person by Legal Custodian following an investigation by the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Investigators reviewed a video recording from October 21st in which, according to a warrant for her arrest, Brown was seen grabbing a three-year-old by the arm in a classroom at the Summerwood Way Sunshine House and then swinging the child into a piece of furniture.

As a result, the warrant alleges, the child suffered visible injury to the head, endangering the life or heath of the child due to unlawful and malicious bodily harm on behalf of Brown.

Sunshine House has released the following statement:

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, the Director of our school on Summerwood Way in Aiken, SC was
notified that a child was running and fell and hit his head. The Director investigated and reviewed
security camera footage of the incident and subsequently witnessed a teacher mishandling the child.

Upon viewing this inexcusable behavior, we followed all state licensing regulations and company
procedures, immediately notifying the South Carolina Department of Social Services, Division of
Early Care and Education (SCDSS).

The teacher was placed on administrative leave that day, and was officially terminated for child
maltreatment the following day, October 22, 2021.

We contacted the parents of the child involved in the incident to notify them of the situation and how
their child was involved.

The Aiken Police Department began an investigation, and the former teacher was subsequently
arrested and charged with unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person.

The former teacher had been employed for less than 60 days at the time of the incident.

All state and company hiring policies were followed prior to hiring this individual. As a state licensed
and regulated childcare provider, this process includes a comprehensive criminal background check
that includes both in-state and national fingerprint-based criminal history, child abuse and neglect
registry and sex offender registry checks.

Our hearts are heavy over this incident. The safety and well-being of all children in our care is our
highest priority, and we cannot stress enough how seriously we take this incident. We have zero tolerance for anyone harming a child.

We have been serving families across the country for more than 45 years. We work to hire highly qualified, loving and experienced team members dedicated to providing high-quality care and education – every child, every family, every day. We have hundreds of talented, loving teachers in the Aiken, SC area and across the country who have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of children and families.

Barbra Richardson, Company Spokesperson

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