Police have charged a 16-year-old boy in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a five-year-old victim at a private day home last month.

Staff Sgt. Leah Barber, of the police department’s child abuse unit, said investigators have been in contact with the families of all the children who attended the home, located in the 100 block of Whitehaven Road NE.

“My understanding is the assaults were allegedly committed over a period of time,” Barber said, adding that parents took the little girl to the hospital upon learning of the allegations.

Barber said the suspect is the son of the woman running the day home and lives in the residence.

“It’s always important parents conduct reference checks,” she said, while admitting a reference check wouldn’t have turned up anything in this case.

Barber said about 30 per cent of suspects in child sex-abuse cases are under 18 years old.

Since the home had fewer than six children in its care, it didn’t require licensing from the Alberta government. Officials said the day-home operators have been co-operative with police.

The teen has been charged with one count each of sexual assault and sexual interference.