State regulators have ordered a Baraboo daycare owner to cease operations that require a license.
Kimberly Knight, owner of Kimberly’s Kids Daycare, says she does not need a license because she does not care for more than three children at any given time.
In an interview with the Baraboo News Republic, Knight also defended her husband, 57-year-old Kevin P. Knight, who has been charged with repeated sexual assault of a child at a daycare more than ten years ago.
“I just want all our friends and family to know that I hope they believe in Kevin and that he did not do this,” Kimberly Knight said. “I know 100 percent that my husband is innocent of this and there is nothing that will change that. I’m standing behind him 100 percent through it all.”
In November, a teenage girl told a Baraboo Police officer she attended a daycare at Kevin Knight’s home when she was about six years old, sometime around 2002.
The girl told the officer that while she was there, she frequently was told to sit on Knight’s lap and that he touched her inappropriately on 20 separate occasions.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Sauk County Circuit Court, the girl decided to come forward only recently after seeing a photograph of Kevin Knight with a child she knows through family.
The daycare was run by Knight’s ex-wife, Kathy Knight. After the two separated, Knight remarried Kimberly Knight, who opened Kimberly’s Kids Daycare at the same address in 2011.
“This did not happen at my daycare,” Kimberly Knight said, adding that she believes the girl is not telling the truth about her husband.
Prosecutors filed charges against Kevin Knight on Jan. 24. One week later, inspectors with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families visited Kimberly’s Kids Daycare and found that she was caring for five children under age 7 that were not related to her.
Documents obtained by the News Republic show the agency sent a letter to the daycare Feb. 1 demanding that it cease all operations that would require a license. However, according to the daycare’s Facebook page, it has since continued to operate.
Kimberly Knight says that’s because she only cares for three children at any given time. State law requires any person who cares for four or more unrelated children under age 7 to obtain a license.
“The day (state regulators) came, yes I had more than my three kids,” Kimberly Knight said. “But that’s not an everyday thing.”
DCF spokesman Andy Smith essentially repeated the state law when asked if Kimberly Knight was correct that she is not required to have a license.
“Under Wisconsin law, no person may provide care and supervision for four or more children under the age of 7 for less than 24 hours a day unless that person obtains a license to operate a child care center from the department,” Smith said.
Kevin Knight has been released on a $1,000 signature bond. As a condition of bond, he is to have no contact with the alleged victim. He also may not have any contact with minor children unless another adult is present.
He is due back in court March 28.
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