Aniya Day-Garrett

Aniya Day: State closes day care accused of ignoring abuse of girl allegedly beaten to death by mom & boyfriend

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has reportedly shut down one of two day cares accused of failing to report the abuse of a 4-year-old girl who was reportedly beaten to death by her mother and her boyfriend in March.

According to WEWS, a recently-reached agreement means Get Ready Set Grow Preschool will close their doors in March 2019 and its owners are barred from applying for a license to open a new childcare provider for four years.

The settlement comes months after the death of Aniya Day, who attended the Preschool before her death. Day was found unresponsive at her Euclid home on March 11, with authorities noting burns on her legs and feet.

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An autopsy later found she died from a stroke caused by blunt impacts to her head. The report also alleged that malnutrition played a role in her death. Since then, her mother, Sierra Day, and the woman’s boyfriend, Deonte Lewis, have been charged with aggravated murder and remained jailed as they await trial.

The slain girl’s mother previously worked at Get Ready Set Grow Preschool and its owner claimed they would have fired her immediately if they knew she was abusive, according to WEWS.

WKYC reported that the state previously handed the owners 14 violations for failing to complete background checks on several employees, not reporting possible abuse, and forcing children to sleep in closets.

The Preschool is one of two day cares that underwent state scrutiny following Day’s death. The second day care, Harbor Crest Childcare Academy, has already closed its doors but is close to reaching a settlement with the state, an ODJFS spokesperson told the news station.

Under state law, day cares are required to report every instance of suspected abuse to county social service agencies.

In May 2017, Harbor Crest owners reportedly presented police with 13 reports of possible abuse dating back to September 2015. At the time, the owners purportedly called police after discovering blood coming from Aniya’s ear.

The latest news also comes more than two months after ODJFS found the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services ignored protocol and overlooked two years worth of injuries on Aniya. In their 21-page report, ODJFS referred to a February 2017 incident where a caseworker didn’t interview the hospitalized child—despite her claiming “Mommy” caused her injuries.

Aniya’s father apparently tried to obtain custody and called attention to possible abuse going on at the Euclid home months before her beating death. Mickhal Garrett reportedly sent a letter to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in December 2017 where he claimed Sierra was keeping him from his daughter and alleged relatives believed she was being abused.

According to WEWS, he wrote, “I truly, truly, truly feel as though our daughter is being abused at home physically/mentally and that her life could possibly be in danger.”

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[Featured Image: Aniya Day, Mickhal Garrett/WEWS]