By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – Documentation from the state concluded that abuse took place at the Early Birds Learning Center in Woodville.
The facility has been the subject of investigations by the Texas Child Care Licensing Investigative Unit and the Woodville Police Department.
In a letter, dated Sept. 7, forwarded to the Booster, to one of the parents of one of the alleged victims, from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the report, which was filed on July 23, states that the child, whose name is withheld, “was alleged to be a victim of Physical Abuse (sic) while in the care of Early Birds Learning Center.” The disposition determined the child is a victim of physical abuse.
The results of DFPS’s findings were provided to the Child Care Regulation division of the agency.
According to the licensing records on the DFPS website, Early Birds was found to have five violations upon an evaluation of individual standards, dated August 15, 2022.
Those violations range from a required annual sanitation inspection to non-compliance for background checks on employees, as a caregiver was found to not have an initial background check, but is no longer with the facility. The abuse findings are not listed on the website, at present.
While Woodville PD is handling the criminal investigation aspect, the state agency in charge of licensing the facility, has asked that the owner to voluntarily close down until the issue is resolved, and the owner complied with the request.
According to Woodville PD Captain Jathan Borel, there is more than one allegation of abuse concerning Early Birds.
Kelly Bass, the director of the facility, has denied the allegations aimed at the facility and its employees, and alleged that a disgruntled former employee has made the claims; that no wrongdoing has been done.
Once Woodville PD concludes its investigation it will be presented to District Attorney Lucas Babin, and up to him to decide whether or not to bring it before the Grand Jury.
According to records on the facility from the state department of Health and Human Services, Early Birds is licensed to serve infants up through school-age children.