The owner of a daycare near Woodstock has been arrested on charges of battery against a child.
Tamara “Tammy” Dorsten, 53, of Canton, the owner of Holdheide Academy, is accused of grabbing a child’s face hard enough to leave visible marks with her nails March 17, according to an arrest warrant issued by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said the child was under 6 years old and enrolled at the daycare at the time.
Dorsten was arrested April 8, according to the sheriff’s office, and released on a $1,000 bond the next day. Bond conditions include that Dorsten is prohibited from having any contact with the child.
This was not the first time authorities have been contacted about the center, Baker said.
Records for reports of any other incidents at the daycare were requested, but according to Cherokee County, incident reports of child abuse cases cannot be released.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is investigating the daycare center, DECAL spokesperson Reg Griffin said. The agency could not provide a statement on Holdheide due to an open investigation.
“A satisfactory criminal background check is required for anyone working in the child care industry in Georgia,” Griffin said in an email. “Any owner, director, or employee with an unsatisfactory background check is not allowed to be on the property. However, the program can continue to operate.”
In December, DECAL revoked Holdheide Academy’s license, but Dorsten appealed the decision. Early childcare facilities can remain open while an appeal is pending.
An attorney for Dorsten said DECAL had already found the claim about the March incident to be unsubstantiated.
"While the Cherokee County Solicitor’s Office has the right to conduct its own investigation respecting the allegation, we are confident that they too will reach the same conclusion as DECAL and clear Ms. Dorsten of this unfounded allegation for which Ms. Dorsten is innocent," Michael Johnson said in an email.
Any parents or families with concerns about the program can contact DECAL at email@example.com or call the CCS Consultant of the Day Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They can remain anonymous. Parents or families seeking alternative child care can visit www.qualityrated.org or call 877-ALL-GA-KIDS, where DECAL will assist them for free in locating child care.
Holdheide Academy is located at 5234 Old Highway 5, between Holly Springs and Woodstock.
Representatives of the preschool could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the daycare’s website, it accepts children from infants through second grade.