Defense Dept. orders review of all military day care centers after alleged assaults

Posted at 8:50 PM, Dec 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-19 06:49:49-05

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered a review of hiring practices at all 283 military day care centers worldwide.

The order comes after the Army revealed that it discovered problems with background checks of workers at Fort Myer, Va. following the Sept. 26 arrests of two Army employees accused of assaulting children there, according to the Associated Press.

Two officials tell the AP that at least 30 workers at the Fort Myer facility have histories that call into question their suitability to care for children.

“The safety of the children under our care is our most important responsibility,” said Col. Fern Sumpter, the Fort Myer commander. “The quality of their care and safety has been and will continue to be our most important priority.”

Sumpter said the day care center was closed “out of an abundance of caution” and the children moved to a separate day care center at Fort Myer. A Fort Myer spokeswoman, Mary Ann Hodges, said the center was closed on Dec. 13.

Of the two Fort Myer day care workers who were arrested, one faces five counts of assault and the other faces four counts of assault, according to the Army.

Read more from the Associated Press.