A childcare teacher washed a young boy's mouth out with soap for swearing, taped a girl's mouth shut and force-fed other children in her care, a court has heard.

Now she can now also be named for the first time.

Lynn Euphemia Abraham, 59, is defending 11 charges against nine children, all under the age of 5, in a jury trial at the Auckland District Court this week.

The alleged offending began in 2011 and continued through until last May.


Prosecutor Brian Dickey said Abraham was the manager at the centre and was also involved in teaching.

The East Auckland childcare centre she worked at during the time of the alleged offending has interim name suppression.

The Crown wasn't presenting the case as one of "horrific child abuse" and it was important the charges were presented as what they are, Dickey said.

"The point of this case is that these are assaults."

In December 2012, a 4-year-old girl was playing and yelling outside when Abraham told her to stop screaming.

The girl didn't stop screaming so the teacher put cellotape over her mouth for about five minute, Dickey told the 12 jurors.

A number of the charges were similar in that the children got smacked on the hand, bottom or thighs when they didn't follow Abraham's instructions.

Dickey said on one occasion in 2015, a 4-year-old whose behaviour was "challenging" because "he would swear a lot for a young child" had his mouth washed out with soap by Abraham after he called another teacher an "ugly b****".

She allegedly told the centre's owner: "It was punishment for the language he was using". She received a warning.

Other staff also observed Abraham force-feeding children, including one as young as 1-year-old.

Dickey said the law was clear: force cannot be used for the purposes of correction or punishment on a child.

The offending was only uncovered when a Ministry of Education employee was working part-time at the centre and saw Abraham's treatment of the children, then reported it to her boss.

An investigation was launched and afterwards the charges were laid, Dickey told the court.

Abraham's lawyer, Graeme Newell, did not opt to do an opening address.

Judge June Jelas urged the jurors to put aside any strong feelings they had at what was alleged and asked them to make their decision based solely on the facts of the case.

The trial continues and is set down for a week.