An employee at a Gig Harbor child care center has been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl at the facility.
Pierce County prosecutors are reviewing charges against the 26-year-old assistant teacher. He is expected to appear in court Wednesday (Feb. 8). The News Tribune is not naming him because he has not been charged.
“He was a person who worked there and had access to the kids,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The director at Little Steps Christian Learning Center, Barb Richards, has been placed on administrative leave because of the investigation, but it’s not clear what role she played.
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The center’s interim director declined to provide details and directed questions to state Child Protective Services.
Little Steps held a meeting with parents Monday and sent a letter home informing them about the arrest, assuring them all employees underwent the required background check and highlighting additional safety measures that will be implemented.
“We don’t know all the details of the charges, but we are taking extra steps to safeguard your children,” according to the letter.
That includes installing closed-circuit cameras and putting more staff members in classrooms.
With the director on administrative leave, Little Steps brought in a former child care director and asked two school founders to advise how to handle the situation.
Little Steps has 45 children in its facilities, at 3008 36th St. NW, and is a nonprofit learning center, according to its website.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653