Parents, former staffers speak out on Fargo daycare safety concerns, complaints

“This was pure chaos in the most epic form you could ever see in a daycare.”
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Parents and former staffers are speaking out tonight on a Fargo daycare that’s already found itself in hot water recently.

This comes after a VNL investigation last week on Creative Strides on 12th Ave. S., as documents show state officials wrote four correction orders on the facility in just three months which found insufficient ratios and alleged child abuse by a staffer.

Former director and a former parent of Creative Strides, Ashley Weixel says the ratio problem was much worse than one could imagine.

“We’d go weeks on end without breaks. If I only had my two infant teachers, I would have to take all of my older kids and leave them in the infant room, leaving them out of ratio just so I could use the bathroom,” Weixel, who worked at the center from April to December 2022, said. “We were sending kids home daily. We just didn’t have the staff.”

Crysta Hippard says the issues were so bad, they caused her to lose her job as her son got sent home too many times. So, Hippard says she decided to then take a job at Creative Strides to both spend time with her child and help with the daycare’s low staffing. Hippard was employed at Creative Strides from September until December 2022.

“It was the only option that I had, considering Fargo has like, three-year waiting lists for their childcare,” Hippard said.

A former staffer is charged in court with child abuse at the facility, and both women say the blame lies with the “poor management.” Weixel and Hippard claim management tries to turn a blind eye to most incidents, and is the reason both left the center within the last six weeks.

“This was pure chaos in the most epic form you could ever see in a daycare,” Hippard said.

“I feel like they just don’t really pay attention to who exactly they hire,” Weixel said.

Both women say while they feel the center has potential to be a safe place for kids, they fear things won’t ever change. Weixel and Hippard are pleading for those working for the state to once again step in.

“Do better,” Hippard said. “It’s not fair for the kids to suffer because they don’t have a choice.”

Creative Strides did not provide a comment for this story.

Alyssa Holzheimer, the former staffer accused of child abuse at the center, is slated to go to trial in March.