Johnson County day care worker faces criminal charges

Rachel Wilkes.
Rachel Wilkes.(KCTV5 News)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:22 PM CDT
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OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) - Former Johnson County day care worker Rachel Wilkes faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office says she’s connected to Children’s Lighthouse Daycare Center in Olathe.

Court records show Wilkes previously faced a domestic battery charge in 2007 but completed a diversion program. That meant she had no criminal conviction but likely agreed to counseling or classes.

Children’s Lighthouse confirmed she is the lead teacher from “Room 5,″ which prompted a state investigation. That revealed troubling video of a teacher being rough with the children she was supposed to care for.

A spokesperson for the day care says Wilkes passed a background check through the state and provided this statement:

You can read the full statement by clicking here.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has criticized the day care itself for not reporting suspected child abuse.

A KDHE spokesperson says the suspension when into effect May 16 but the license was temporarily reinstated on May 22. During that period, Children’s Lighthouse Daycare was not considered a licensed childcare facility in Kansas.

Direct questions to the Children’s Lighthouse spokesperson regarding transparency with families and how they operated for close to a week with a suspended license have gone unanswered. KCTV5 received yet another statement which failed to address our questions.

Families report to KCTV5 a lack of information and transparency.

The day care is currently operating and has 15 days to comply with state regulations or the suspension could become permanent.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families tells KCTV5 that, since the license suspension, they no longer use Children’s Lighthouse of Olathe as a DCF provider. DCF providers accept children of families who receive childcare assistance benefits.