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UNH Child Study Development Center worker accused of inappropriate contact with child

Union Leader Correspondent

February 09. 2018 3:49PM
The Child Study Development Center is affiliated with UNH and supported by tuition revenue and UNH College of Health and Human Services funds. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

DURHAM – Officials at the University of New Hampshire confirmed Friday that a staff member at the Child Study Development Center has been placed on paid administrative leave.

“An allegation of inappropriate contact with a child was made at the Child Study Development Center Tuesday,” spokesperson Erika Mantz said. “This is an ongoing investigation and we are unable to comment further.”

Mantz said the center is a laboratory school affiliated with the university. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is licensed by the state, she said.

According to the website, a laboratory school is one with both an early care and education mission, as well as an academic mission.

“Children attending the center, and the UNH students working at the center, benefit from the highly trained teaching staff and from the family studies faculty,” the website says.

There are 20 full-time staff members serving 122 children and their families at the center. In addition to tuition revenues, the center’s academic mission is supported by UNH College of Health and Human Services funds, according to the website.

Mantz said the incident was reported to university officials, child welfare authorities and UNH police.

UNH Police Chief Paul Dean sent a message to parents and guardians about the situation after receiving several phone calls.

In the email, Dean said they responded to the center after the director made a required report to university officials and child welfare authorities about the alleged inappropriate contact.

“That child is safe and notification of the allegation has been made to the child’s family. This is an ongoing police investigation, which will be completed as soon as possible. As a result, I am very limited in what I can share but I want to assure you that we believe your child is safe at the CSDC,” Dean wrote.

UNH police will share the outcome of the investigation as soon as they can, Dean said.

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