Liesl Pyke-Nott has been accused of failing to alert the NSW Department of Education of
Liesl Pyke-Nott has been accused of failing to alert the NSW Department of Education of "corporal punishment" and the alleged lack of supervision of children at a Casino childcare centre that she managed.

Child care worker's credentials questioned in court

UPDATE 1.05pm: EVIDENCE into whether an educator working at a Casino childcare had the correct qualifications to be working with children has been heard before a court.

Former investigator for the NSW Department of Education, Rebecca Stavrou, told Casino Local Court on Tuesday about her investigation into Rainbow Station Early Education Centre director Liesl Pyke-Nott and the childcare's operator LPN Childcare Pty Ltd ATF Liesl Pyke-Nott Family Trust.

When questioned about several interviews she conducted over the course of her investigation into allegations about mismanagement of a staff member, Anthony Purcell, and his actions within the childcare, Ms Stavrou said she had obtained "hundreds" of electronic documents from Ms Pyke-Nott.

Mr Purcell is not facing any charges against him.

Part of those documents were the rosters for both Rainbow Station and Sandcastles childcare centre in Evans Head, also operated by Ms Pyke-Nott.

It is alleged Ms Pyke-Nott gave false information in an interview when asked about when Mr Purcell began his employment at Rainbow Station.

Ms Stavrous confirmed the rosters presented to the court did not show Mr Purcell was rostered prior to June 2017.

However, yesterday at least two witnesses told the court Mr Purcell had been working at the childcare centre from January 2017.

The court also heard Ms Stavrous had received completed trainee workbooks proving Mr Purcell had been working with children while he was undergoing his educator qualification training prior to June 2017.

"You would have to have been working with the children to meet these requirements," Ms Stavrous said.

Both the prosecution and defence are due to give their closing statements, as the hearing continues this afternoon.

 

Original story: A COURT has heard allegations a child found with a handprint "mark" on their back was the result of the child having fallen off playground equipment.

Yesterday, a mother gave evidence she had noted a red mark in the shape of a handprint on her child in August 2017.

She made the statement during a hearing into charges against the director of Rainbow Station Early Education Centre in Casino, Liesl Pyke-Nott, 46, and the childcare's operator LPN Childcare Pty Ltd ATF Liesl Pyke-Nott Family Trust, which is owned by Ms Pyke-Nott.

Ms Pyke-Nott is facing liability charges and giving false information in an interview, while LPN Childcare is charged with not protecting children from harm or hazard and employing an educator lacking the relevant qualifications.

The court has been told the NSW Department of Education laid the charges following an investigation into unsubstantiated allegations a Rainbow Station employee, Anthony Purcell, failed to clean up broken Perspex in a playground and was on his mobile phone while looking after children.

Mr Purcell is not facing any charges against him.

Ms Pyke-Nott is also accused of not taking further action when a parent made a complaint after discovering a red mark on their child's back following their day at the childcare centre.

The mother told Casino Local Court yesterday, she had reported the handprint shape mark to Ms Pyke-Nott.

But a Rainbow Station employee told the court the child had fallen off playground equipment the day of the alleged incident.

"There was an incident where (they) fell backwards on a fire engine climbing frame and (they) fell backwards on (their) back," she said.

"(They were) offered an ice pack, we placed it on (their) back but (they) would not have a bar of that, by then (they'd) calmed (themselves) down and wanted to continue on playing."

Ms Pyke-Nott had previously indicated to the court she and the childcare centre will defend every charge before the court.

The hearing continues today.



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