By CULPEPER STAR–EXPONENT

Two employees of Orange County Public Schools’ childcare program have been charged with felony child abuse.

On April 25, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Department of Social Services regarding an alleged assault that occurred in the Dailey Drive facility of Orange County Head Start, which also offers full-day child care for children ages 6 weeks to kindergarten.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Becky Jones investigated the report with Social Services, assisted by Orange County Public Schools, according to a sheriff’s office news release on Monday.

On May 28, Jenean Renee Simms, 33, of Orange was indicted by a grand jury on one felony charge of child endangerment and one felony charge of child abuse and neglect. The website for Orange County Headstart Child Care lists her as a child care teacher.

According to court records, the date of the alleged offenses was April 24 and Simms was arrested on May 30. She is due in circuit court on Thursday.

In the same alleged incident, Brookes Michelle Sims, 37, of Earlysville was indicted on one charge of felony child endangerment and one misdemeanor count of failing to report the suspicion of child abuse, according to the sheriff’s office. She is listed as child care coordinator on the website for Orange County Headstart Child Care.

Both suspects were released on a $5,000 unsecured bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

The child care programs run by Orange County Public Schools, involving these two suspects, are separate from the programs offered in Orange Public Schools through the Orange Office on Youth administered through the Orange County Administrator and Board of Supervisors.

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