Marathon County Day Care Provider Charged With 6 Counts of Neglect

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The local child care community is outraged at the Marathon County woman accused of six counts of child neglect.

Police say Rhonda Piehl, 35, left seven children between the ages of 11 months and 4 years old unattended at her home, north of Wausau, last Thursday for more than a half hour.

"It saddens me and it makes me very worried for other children that are out there that she didn't make choices with when taking care of those children," said Debbie Mohelnitzky, owner of Alphabet Soup Child Care II in Wausau.

A police report indicates Piehl made the comment, "It's a bad decision on my part and sometimes you have to do what you have to do."

She told police she left so she could run errands in town, and that she's done the same thing in the past.

The criminal complaint states she had the children in the living room, with a step ladder blocking the hallway.

Mohelnitzky says it's vital for parents to be cautious when choosing child care providers.

"The parent needs to do some background checks. Just like we can do background checks for our staff, the parent can do a background check. The other thing is to get references," she said.

She also recommends dropping in unannounced to see for yourself what's going on.

You can also find out if your provider is licensed, by contacting the Division of Children and Family Services in your area.

Piehl is expected back in court on May 28th.

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