Parent says she pulled child out of Holly Harrison’s day care years ago

(KXAN File Photo)
Baby bottle (KXAN File Photo)

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A Georgetown mother doesn’t want to reveal her identity out of fear of retaliation, but she does want you to hear about her experience with Holly Harrison’s in-home daycare. This woman says before Harrison watched kids at her current daycare, where Brody Havins passed away on Jan. 13, she ran her day care out of another home in Georgetown.

“I really trusted it.”

The mother of two says she sent her then-one-year-old daughter to Harrison’s home back in 2011. She said she and Harrison graduated from Georgetown High School together. After about six months at Harrison’s daycare, she started to get a bad feeling after she says Harrison put her daughter in time-out and the girl scratched herself. “She had these really red scratches and I thought well she’s really shy so that’s odd, out of her norm,” says the mother.

She brushed it off, until she said her daughter came home with another injury.

Holly Harrison operates a day care in Georgetown. (WCSO)
Holly Harrison operates a day care in Georgetown. (WCSO)

“Holly had a changing table downstairs and she would pick up the kids by the arms to lift them up, kind of just pull them up,” said the mother. “I suggested please don’t [do that to my daughter] because she has real thin bones, her elbows disconnect easily.” She says her child came home with a dislocated elbow one day.

The mother eventually pulled her daughter from the daycare, saying Harrison became more and more irritable. “If you’re treating me this way, how are you treating the children when you’re alone with them,” says the parent.

She’s a mother who says she’s thankful her family moved on, given the crimes Harrison is now accused of committing. This parent also told us that sometimes she would see as many as 15 kids in Harrison’s former home. Investigators say Harrison had more than double the amount of kids in her recent day care, All About Kids, when 5-month-old Brody passed away.

A friend of Holly Harrison’s says the accusations from this mother are unfounded. “My whole heart 100 percent believes Holly would not do anything to a child intentionally,” says Traci Estepp, Harrison’s friend.

Day Care Definitions

To find out of your child’s day care is listed, visit http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/

Listed Family Home: A caregiver provides care in the caregiver’s own home for 1-3 unrelated children, for at least four hours a day, three or more days a week, and more than three consecutive weeks. They are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child abuse/neglect.
Registered Child-Care Home: A caregiver provides regular care in the caregiver’s own home for not more than six children from birth through 13 years old, and may provide care after school hours for not more than six additional school-age children. The total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12. These are inspected every 1-2 years.
Licensed Child-Care Home: The caregiver provides care in the caregiver’s own home for children from birth through 13 years old. The total number of children in care varies with the ages of the children, but the total number of children in care at any given time, including the children related to the caregiver, must not exceed 12.
Licensed Center: An operation providing care for seven or more children under 14 years old for less than 24 hours per day at a location other than the permit holder’s home

When you choose a daycare for your child, it’s important to know some places have more oversight than others. Licensed daycares are required to follow a list of standards and are routinely monitored and inspected. All of their staff must pass routine background checks. But registered, in-home daycares are only inspected every one-to-two years. Listed home daycares are not inspected at all. They also aren’t required to follow any standards, orientation or training. There are also illegal daycare operations.That’s where a person looks after a number of children without reporting it to the state.

The head of the National Association for Family Child Care says parents need to go to daycares that have oversight.

“Licensing regulations are in place basically to protect the child, to provide health and safety environment for the child,” says Eva Daniels, executive director of National Association for Family Child Care.

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