Denver, Colorado 2020-10-27 00:28:55 –
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A Douglas County mother shared her family’s grief after their 3-month-old baby girl died at an unlicensed home daycare. The child care provider was arrested and charged with child abuse resulting in death.
Kelsey Matthews is on a journey that no parent should ever have to take. Her granddaughter died on August 26.
She still wants to protect her precious angel, so we don’t show her face or use her name. But Matthews says there are things the community needs to know.
“You have to wake up every day and relive the fact that your baby is not there, she is dead. This is one of the hardest parts of being a parent. Parents aren’t supposed to bury your kids, and when your kid dies a part of you literally dies along with them too. It’s something you did, ”Matthews said.
She also said that one of the hardest parts was explaining the death to her 3-year-old.
“When you’re three and a half years old, you don’t understand how permanent death is. You do your best as a parent to explain this, but you still see your child trying to cry, the same way you do, but you just don’t understand it. Our 3 year old will tell you that her sister is dead and she is in heaven, but at the same time we will go to a store and she will ask where she is, ”Matthews said.
“It never goes away. The weather does not get better. You wake up with loss every day. The heaviness of your heart never goes away. You just learn to face it and put your foot forward. We will never be well. “
Matthews described his newborn baby as “perfect”. She was healthy, happy and much loved.
“She was born perfectly healthy, a beautiful baby. We don’t like to use the word perfect in our house because we believe there is beauty in flaws. But she was perfect. You hear about smiling babies in their first week or two of life, you hear how it’s just a reflex, our baby would laugh. She would laugh in her sleep. Our baby was not a tough baby. She was very active, very happy. She would be completely happy in a swing or on a play mat watching the other children. She had a personality for sure. She would tell you if she didn’t like something. But she was easily appeased, ”Matthews said.
All of this was stolen from Matthews, her husband and their 3 year old daughter. They dropped off the two girls at Amanda Anderson’s home day care center on August 26.
They received a call that afternoon that the 3 month old had been rushed to hospital.
Matthews remembers the morning filing: “I took her out, handed her, gave her kisses, and told her have a good day and my living child. She was too young to eat. She was right on milk.
She spoke to Amanda the next day.
“She said she had checked our baby twice and when she came up the third time she was not breathing. She started CPR. I asked if she was breathing. She said no. Our agreement that our baby would sleep in the dock-a-tot so that she was always in a safe sleeping environment, ”said Matthews.
“I asked if the detectives picked it up. Amanda replied, “No, the detectives forgot about it. It’s downstairs in my laundry room. The detectives don’t forget things, they don’t forget to take key evidence that our child would have slept when she died. It was kind of when the first flag went off in my head, and I realized there was something else going on. There’s something else she’s hiding, something she’s lying about. From that point on, it’s just lies, lies, lies, it looks like what she told investigators, parents.
Matthews and her husband found Anderson through co-workers and other families in their community. It came highly recommended, but the Matthews did their own research.
“We want people to know, we are educated parents. It wasn’t $ 20 a day, short of the basement daycare. We have done our due diligence. We did everything we could to verify this woman. We went there, we asked him a two page list of questions, we walked around the house. She showed us around. She showed us the kinds of things they sit in, when they eat, the kinds of toys they play with, she showed us where they would sleep, everyone would have their own room and in their pack and play ”, Matthews said.
“We didn’t just drop our children at the door, we entered her home. And although you couldn’t see the living room or the kitchen because they were behind the stairs, you could see the formal dining room and the playroom. The children would come down the hall and see if their parent was coming to pick them up. Never once have I seen an unreasonable number of children or heard an unreasonable amount of noise that 17 children would make. “
It wasn’t until after their baby died that they found out that Anderson had 16-17 children at a time.
“We were shocked that she had so much in there, we had no idea. I am a teacher. Other families were social workers, school counselors, social workers, nurses, doctors. these are all areas of the profession. We are commissioned journalists. We are trained to pay attention to the things we hear, to the things we see. We need to report them in our own areas, ”Matthews said.
“No one knew she had so many children in her house. Honestly, I can’t understand how she had so many children in her house. Where she put so many children in her house.
“She was able to manipulate people, including us. I think she was a manipulative mistress because even after our baby died and was ordered to cease and desist, she called the parents over the weekend and told them about the cause of the death, which is still unknown, ”Matthews said.
“The autopsy is not yet over. We don’t know how our baby died. But she told them it was because of SIDS and she couldn’t have done anything to stop it. Then it reopened its doors on Monday.
According to the arrest affidavit, based on his general childcare practices, Anderson “knowingly and recklessly provided an environment that did not allow for the care of a baby, which ultimately led to his death. .
“She should be held responsible for the death. It’s her fault our baby died, but that won’t bring my child back, nothing will. At the end of the day my baby was in her care and she was unable to keep my baby alive because of the type of environment she had in her home, ”Matthews said.
Matthews said she discovered through media coverage that the Department of Social Services had issued Anderson five restraining orders before her baby died and two more after her death.
“I wish we had known about the cease and desist orders. I wish there was something in place where this information would have been available to parents because if we had known, we would not have taken our kids there, ”Matthews continued.
“Super frustrated and super enraged especially because I called her the day after our baby died. I told him that I probably didn’t need to say this, but because we had a contract, I have to say it. Our living daughter would not return to her care. She said, I don’t think I could ever do this again after what happened, I don’t think I could. It was Thursday. Within one working day, she was back to open her doors to other children. Not only was she lying at the time and playing the victim in this situation. She gladly gave care, while she did such careless care, our daughter died because of it.
Now, through her heartbreaking journey, she hopes to make changes that will make it easier for parents to find information about licensed and unlicensed child care providers.
“If there is anything that comes out of our baby’s death, there will be changes that will take place so that other families never have to deal with it again,” Matthews said.
Matthews hopes the community can help.
“Share our story, share the truth. It is very beneficial. Matthews said, “There are a lot of kids who need daycare, especially with the growing Colorado. There are a lot of children, there aren’t a lot of licensed child care centers.
She said it takes communities to find people like Anderson and that she encourages families and neighbors to closely monitor unlicensed child care providers who are taking too many children and to speak up if you see anything. something that doesn’t seem right.
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