Former daycare director who fed children melatonin gets 6 months in prison

A former Indiana church daycare director has been sentenced to six months in prison after she admitted feeding melatonin gummies to more than a dozen young children without their parents’ consent. court records show.

The former director, Tonya Rachelle Voris, 53, was arrested last year after the church’s pastor tipped off police that she was distributing “pediatric melatonin” to children ages 1 to 4 in her care at Kidz Life Child Care Ministry in Cumberland , India. ., according to the documents.

Ms. Voris pleaded guilty in January to more than a dozen charges of negligence and wanton supervision, and on Friday was sentenced to six months in prison and about 18 months of probation.

Neither her attorney nor the prosecutor were immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

According to court documents, Ms. Voris’ use of melatonin began in December 2022, after the parent gave permission to the day care center to give her child a sleep aid during her scheduled daily two-hour nap. Ms. Voris then began giving melatonin to the other children, without their parents’ consent, the documents show.

David M. Faulk, pastor of New Life Church in Cumberland, Ind., said in a court statement that he was told Ms. Voris “was satisfied with the effects of the melatonin.” She gave the children varying doses of Vicks Pure Zzzs Kidz chamomile and lavender flavored melatonin gum, according to the documents. Each gum contains 0.5 milligrams of melatonin. The product label says that rubber tires are intended for children aged 4 and older.

Ms. Voris continued to give the children melatonin for several weeks until she brought the behavior to Mr. Faulk’s attention, he said in the affidavit. He fired her on January 30, 2023.

The parents of the children at the daycare later told detectives that their children had trouble sleeping at night, exhibited erratic behavior, irritability and headaches, according to court documents. One parent said their one-year-old child developed a skin rash, which is considered common allergic reaction to the supplement.

Leave a Comment