Frank Cikutovich Article:
Day Care Closes After Assault Charges Are Filed
Spokesman Review Jun 5, 1997
by Jonathan Martin Staff writer
Angela Short arrived at her child's Cheney day care and was greeted by a
startling sight: 8-year-old Amanda holding an ice pack to her cheek.
The wounds beneath the ice pack - a bruised cheek, neck and back - were
allegedly caused by the day care owner, Brenda Goodwin.
"When she pulled the ice pack away, I just came unglued," Short said. As a
result of the May 23 incident at Kid's Place, Goodwin has been charged with
fourth-degree assault for allegedly slapping, biting and throwing the girl.
Goodwin closed the day care last Friday, the day the charges were filed. State
Child Protective Services has launched an investigation. Goodwin's license to
care for up to 12 children could be revoked if the abuse allegation is
substantiated. This isn't the first time Goodwin has been accused of hitting
children she's paid to care for. Goodwin was manager of Kid's House, a
church-run day care that closed in February 1995 after state child care
officials found a "chaotic environment" and heard allegations of abuse. Those
allegations were not substantiated, but Tim Nelson, regional manager of the
Office of Child Care Policy, regrets granting Goodwin a license for Kid's Place,
an in-home day care for 12 children. "In hindsight, I wish we hadn't licensed
her as family home," Nelson said. CPS officials declined comment, citing an
ongoing investigation. It should be completed next month. Goodwin refused to
comment, referring calls to her attorney, Frank Cikutovich. He couldn't be
reached late Wednesday. Amanda Short, a second-grader at Salnave Elementary
School, was in Goodwin's care for more than year. Angela Short is a Cheney
accountant and student at Eastern Washington University. According to Short,
Goodwin admitted slapping Amanda. Goodwin told her Amanda was disciplined for
throwing "a tantrum" and refusing to clean up a recreation room. Amanda told her
mother that Goodwin also bit her on the right cheek and threw her into a chair
that slammed against a bookcase. Photographs taken by Cheney police show bruises
on the girl's cheek, neck and back, as well as scratches on her cheek and back,
according to Sgt. Larry Smith. Within a half-hour of seeing Amanda's wounds,
Short pressed assault charges. Problems with Goodwin first surfaced in a 1994
state inspection of Kid's House. Workers at the large day-care center told
investigators that Goodwin would "fly off the handle" when disciplining kids,
Nelson said. But other workers attributed alleged abuses to another worker.
Goodwin applied again for a child-care license in December 1995. The state
agency debated giving Goodwin a new license, but decided with a smaller
caseload, Goodwin could be a good provider, Nelson said. Short says Amanda's
black eye and other bruises are healed, but her daughter is still upset. So is
Short. "This is one of a parent's worst nightmares," she said.
Copyright 1997 Cowles Publishing Company
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