Hearing set for Casino childcare centre accused of neglect
ALMOST 30 witnesses are expected to be heard during a case against a Casino childcare centre accused of "corporal punishment".
The NSW Department of Education, represented by Peter Walsh, will allege a staff member at the Rainbow Station Early Education Centre in Casino inflicted physical harm on a child at the centre, leaving a hand mark on their skin, in August 2017.
The department has also alleged the employee failed to supervise children properly while on duty in October 2017 and failed to clean up broken perspex in the playground area of the childcare facility in August 2017.
While no charges have been laid against the employee, the childcare centre's director, Liesl Pyke-Nott, 46, has been charged with four counts of having liability when a body corporate contravenes and one charge of giving false information to a regulatory authority on May 21, 2018, when questioned about the staff member allegedly inflicting harm.
Ms Pyke-Nott did not have any educational or care qualifications, according to court documents.
Meanwhile, Ms Pyke-Nott's company, LPN Childcare Pty Ltd ATF Liesl Pyke-Nott Family Trust, which operates the Rainbow Station Early Education Centre, is facing two counts of not protecting children from harm or hazard, two counts of failing to report information and educators not meeting required qualifications.
Ms Pyke-Nott had indicated to the court she and the childcare centre will defend every charge before the court.
The matter was briefly mentioned before Casino Local Court on Thursday, where Mr Walsh informed the court 28 witnesses were expected to appear during the three-day hearing, but that number might be reduced.
Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said any possible issues with the case needed to be raised sooner rather than later as the Chief Magistrates Office had made special arrangements to ensure the hearing would go ahead as scheduled.
"It's imperative that any developments are notified to the court," Ms Crittenden said.
"If there's anything that can be done to shorten the matter, it will be done as soon as possible."
The hearing proceedings are set for March 2-4 at Casino Local Court.