Surveillance video shows incident involving 3-year-old at Sunshine House daycare; family now suing

Crime

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A mother speaking out about a lawsuit on file following an incident at Sunshine House daycare in Aiken.

“It’s a nightmare,” mother Ashana Odom said about an incident involving her son at daycare. Odom says that the nightmare began for her and her three-year-old in October. She says she noticed something just wasn’t right about her son after he left the Sunshine House Early Learning Academy on Summerwood Way in Aiken. “They told me that he hit his head on the floor and then a shelf and then a table,” she recalled.

After an investigation by the Aiken Department of Public Safety, surveillance video helped Odom piece together what led to her son’s injury.  The video appears to show the child being mishandled by a daycare worker while a supervisor stood by — on her phone. “It was just shocking for me to watch, because if I would’ve never asked for the video, I would have never known that this happened to my child,” she shared.

NewsChannel 6 is learning this is not the first time this daycare location has been accused of improperly caring for children. Documents show families of at least six children have accused workers at the center of abuse and neglect over the last two years. More than half of the violations at this location since 2019 concern the health and safety of the children in the center’s care.

Odom’s suit alleges gross negligence and breach of contract, among other claims.  Odom’s attorney is looking for more.

“We’re demanding that Sunshine house close this particular location,” attorney Justin Bamberg said. “Because obviously, they have understaffing at this location. They have problems with retaining or hiring or training or supervising new employees at this location. They have problems with supervision at this location,” he added.

Odom tells Shawn that her trust is broken and there are still questions she’d like answers to. “I don’t really trust him going back to another daycare,” she shared. “It’s just a lot of questions like why did this happen?” she added.

D’Aja Brown was arrested and charged with unlawful neglect of a child in this particular case.
She was officially terminated from Sunshine House Early Learning Academy for child maltreatment on October 22.

Meanwhile, NewsChannel 6 reached out to the corporate offices of Sunshine House Early Learning Academy for a response to the lawsuit. We are still waiting to hear back.

Count on NewsChannel 6 to keep you updated on this developing story.

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