CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – A couple running an unregistered daycare is facing charges of child endangerment.
Kyle Joseph McLaughlin, 55, is accused of two counts and Peggy Ann McLaughlin, 57, is facing one count. The Clear Lake couple were arrested Thursday and released after posting $5,000 cash bond each.
Kyle McLaughlin is accused of hitting a three-year-old boy in the back hard enough to leave a visible welt or bruise almost seven hours later. Court documents state McLaughlin said he tried to spank the boy across the diaper and must have missed. This incident allegedly happened in December 2016.
Kyle and Peggy McLaughlin are also charged in connection with a 20-month-old girl who suffered a broken leg. The child’s parents say they dropped her off at the McLaughlin’s daycare in August 2017 and when they picked her up later that day, the girl was crying and unable to walk. Court documents state the girl was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a spiral fracture of the right tibia. The Iowa Department of Human Services and Clear Lake police were then notified because of the nature of the injury.
Officers say when they eventually questioned the McLaughlins, Kyle said they had been watching 12 to 13 children the day the girl was injured and did not have any explanation for how it happened. Court documents state Peggy claimed they had been watching six or seven children and the girl may have fallen off an activity center in the basement. Police say neither McLaughlin gave the girl any first aid or sought any medical help.
Authorities say Peggy McLaughlin had run a registered daycare for 22 years until she and Kyle McLaughlin decided in 2015 they did not want to allow unannounced annual inspections of their home. Since then, authorities say they have operated an unregistered daycare that was only legally allowed to have a maximum of five children at any one time.