Suburban Kansas City daycare worker, who slammed, kicked infants, gets 10 years in prison

An ex-daycare worker in Johnson County who was allegedly filmed by a surveillance camera harming infants, including one who was kicked in the chest and another tossed on the floor, has been sentenced to 10 years in Kansas prison, prosecutors said Friday.

Rachel Beth Schrader, 26, of Kansas City, Kansas, was assigned the sentence during a hearing Friday in Johnson County District Court. She pleaded guilty in March to four felony counts of abusing a child younger than 6 years old while employed at Shawnee Mission Christian School Wee Care, part of the private Shawnee Mission Christian School under Olivet Baptist Church.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case in March 2021. Fellow employees of Schrader’s told investigators that footage from a camera inside the designated room for infants was reviewed after an injury to a child was noticed.

Schrader was fired from the daycare after the review of the footage, the childcare center employees told investigators, and police were contacted March 26, 2021.

Videos reviewed by police spanned 24 days. Over that period, Schrader was allegedly seen harming children about 170 times, authorities determined.

In one example, video showed Schrader kick an infant in the chest, knocking the child to the floor on his head. Another showed her slamming a baby to the floor and kicking him in the hip.

Four infants were identified by authorities as victims of abuse by Schrader. During a police interview at the time, she allegedly admitted to “losing her patience” on one occasion but denied a larger pattern of mistreatment.

The criminal case sparked civil lawsuits brought by parents who said their children had been harmed by Schrader — and alleged Shawnee Mission Christian School Wee Care was responsible.

Among the allegations leveled against the school was one based on the account of an employee who said concerns about Schrader’s abusive behavior went unaddressed for months.

Three civil cases brought in Johnson County District Court have since settled, according to online records.