By: Melissa Toupin
Courtney Langello says she reached her boiling point Monday after talking to a young child outside the Big Blue House Home Daycare. She says the little boy, no more than 3 years old, told her the owner of the East Providence daycare, "Miss Donna" spanked children.
"He was a little apprehensive," said Langello. "I just kind of was like well you know does she hit? And he said well she spanks."
Langello says that's when she called police, and they launched their investigation. Officers spent the afternoon speaking to parents who came to pick up their kids.
Investigators with the Department of Children, Youth and Families are also asking questions about the alleged child abuse, but say they haven't taken any action against the Hillside Avenue daycare. So right now, the big blue house is still open for business.
"I've been a licensed child care provider for 15 years," said daycare provider Donna Pontrarelli. "I don't hit my kids."
As for claims of verbal abuse Miss Donna does admit to yelling, but says she is a loud person with a big yard, and sometimes needs to shout so that the kids can hear her. But, when it comes to spanking, she denies any wrong doing.
The incident is under investigation, but DCYF says the daycare can remain open for business.
Parents we spoke to say they haven't had any problems with Big Blue House Home Daycare, though one mother says she will pull her kids out until things are resolved.