JEFFERSON, Ga. — A Georgia daycare that 11Alive investigated after a teacher was convicted of child molestation, is now losing its license.
The Office of State Administrative Hearings announced it's siding with the Department of Early Care and Learning, or DECAL, to revoke Bright Beginnings of Jefferson's license.
The daycare hired then 17-year-old Alex Tredway as a teacher in late 2021. In January of 2022, Tredway confessed to police he molested multiple children in his care at the facility.
The court said in its ruling Bright Beginnings' owner, Paula Healy, did not accept any responsibility for how she handled the abuse allegations.
"Ms. Healy assigns all the blame to DECAL, DFCS and the police as the experts on sexual abuse investigations for not advising the Center to take any precautions and for failing to inform the Healys that more serious allegations had emerged," the ruling reads.
The first allegation against Tredway surfaced on Friday, January 7. He continued working at Bright Beginnings the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until police arrested him later that day.
"The Center recklessly disregarded the health and safety of children in their care when it allowed Mr. Tredway to continue working at the Center on January 10, 2022, through January 12, 2022," court documents said.
The documents also touched on the daycare's response after Tredway's arrest.
"Perhaps most troubling, however, is the Petitioner’s unwillingness to acknowledge that the Center should have responded differently," documents read.
In July, Paula Healy sat down with 11Alive Investigator Kristin Crowley. During the interview, Healy said she continued letting Tredway work because she thought the allegations against him were untrue. She said her cameras didn't capture any abuse.
Court records show Healy's late husband, Bob Healy, told investigators he didn't confront Tredway about the allegations because, "He did not want 'this poor kid to freak out' or 'to have a heart attack.'"
The court said the Healys prioritized "the feelings of Mr. Tredway over the safety and wellbeing of a child."
Healy now has 30 days to appeal the court's decision. We reached out to her for comment but did not hear back.
She is involved with another daycare just down the road from Bright Beginnings called Bright Beginnings Too. Even though she manages that daycare, this court ruling won't impact it. The license is not in her name.
Meanwhile, Tredway is serving life in prison for the abuse.