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Cape Coral day care facing more abuse claims

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 07:34:46-04
CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The state is taking a closer look at Kiddie Island Academy in Cape Coral for a second set of child abuse allegations.
 
Last month, a mother claimed a teacher at the Cape Coral day care hit her daughter in the mouth, and that another employee dragged her by the ankle into time out. The director of the academy, Maria Valera denied the allegations off camera.  Valera told FOX 4 cameras would be installed to avoid any future problems. 
 
It's been a little more than a month and new allegations have surfaced. Valera confirmed DCF is conducting an investigation. Four In Your Corner went back to the day care to see the footage. 
 
"We're in the process," Valera said. "They should be in about a week or so."
 
Valera says the center is spending about $5,000 to install cameras throughout the facility and is expected to be set up in two weeks. When Four in Your Corner asked her about the new abuse claims, she showed us pictures and documentation she says proves the allegations are not true.
 
"They're basically crucifying us without even knowing the center or waiting on the results." 
 
Valera says while she's received backlash about the claims DCF has not confirmed, families have kept their kids at her daycare. 
 
Parents like Ashley Derose says it's hard to believe claims of abuse are true. 
 
"They're so nice, welcoming," Derose said. "I hope they don't get a bad rep for this."
 
Valera says all employees go through an extensive hiring process and probation period before working for the day care. 
 
"They are finger printed as well as a local background check," Valera said.
 
Valera showed FOX 4 where cameras will be installed to protect her students and staff. She says she will be transparent with the results once DCF completes their investigation.
 
"Truth will come out and I will definitely share it," she said.