Eastern Child Development Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was closed this week while the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department investigated a video (shown below) that showed an employee putting a pacifier into a baby's mouth, covering her face with a blanket and roughly rocking her on Sept. 18.
The employee, identified as Ariadnys Armas, was arrested on Sept. 29 and charged with felony child abuse, KOB reports.
Director of the center, Hannah Tapia, told KOB that Armas was fired as soon as the cell phone video emerged.
"She was let go immediately," Tapia said. "I asked her 'why?' She said she just had one bad day. We told her that wasn't acceptable behavior, she could've really hurt that baby."
The mother of the 6-month-old baby in the video, Ashley Tapia, also works at the daycare center.
"I was shaking," she said. "I was so angry and hurt because I had never had any concerns about my daughter's teacher. She was always well trusted and well liked.”
The infant is doing well, but the center remains closed, pending an investigation, NY Daily News reports. Some 289 children attend the center.
“Based on the disturbing videos we have seen, we are not comfortable with children being at the facility until we have completed a more in-depth investigation into possible systemic issues,” said CYFD spokesman Henry Varela in a statement. "We are working with families to identify alternate placement options so no child is without care while we complete this investigation.”
Hannah Tapia claims there is no pattern of abuse at the center.
"We want to know why? Why are we shut down? Why aren’t they doing something to the person that caused this?" she said. "That could've hurt a baby. That hasn’t been arrested. That is just sitting at home. That hasn't been flagged and can still work with children?”