WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Two teachers at a child-care center routinely engaged in cruel treatment of toddlers in their care, including stepping on their toes, giving full pressure sprays from a water hose and feeding them Flaming Hot Cheetos, according to a state agency report.

Prince William County Police say they have launched a criminal investigation of reported abuse inflicted at the Minnieland Academy at The Glen in Woodbridge. No criminal charges have been filed to date.

The Virginia Department of Social Services investigated following a complaint. It cites cruel treatment over a six-month period this year by two staff members who were not identified by name.

According to the report, the two staffers encouraged fights among the toddlers in their care and dunked children known to be scared of water into wading pools. The staffers laughed about feeding kids Flaming Hot Cheetos and watching their cheeks turn red after eating them, the report said. Toddlers with soiled diapers were told to go away because they stink, it added.

Minnieland said it fired the teachers and that other staffers who were aware of the mistreatment but failed to report it are no longer with the company.

“Minnieland Academy deeply regrets this incident occurred at our center and sincerely apologizes for any harm that resulted from these offences,” the company said in a statement. The Woodbridge-based company operates more than 100 licensed facilities throughout Virginia, predominantly in northern Virginia.

The story was first reported by insidenova.com.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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