Toddler Fight Club
The fights between the young children were inspired by the 1999 film Fight Club Screengrab

Two employees of a day-care centre in New Jersey have been charged with child abuse after it emerged they were organising a toddler fight club inspired by the 1999 Brad Pitt film and sharing the bouts on snap chat.

However someone clearly broke the first and second rules of Fight Club when parents and staff were alerted to the illegal activity.

Classroom teacher Chanese White, 28, and assistant Erica Kenny, 22 face child abuse charges after they allegedly encouraged 12 children aged between four and six years old to beat each other up. Kenny also faces a lesser charge of child abuse after she referenced Fight Club in one of the videos of the matches.

People Magazine reported the pair had been suspended immediately from the Lightbridge Academy where they worked in Cranford after the fight club was discovered taking place in the school's playground.

The head of the centre Guy Falzarano was quoted by the magazine as saying: "Somebody had reported this. We assume it was one of our employees, but we don't know. I'm appalled by it. The rest of the staff is appalled by it."

Three children at the academy have since left over the incident. Authorities in New Jersey were alerted to the alleged abuse within 24 hours of the initial report.

The director at Lightbridge has resigned following the controversy and the day-care centre has apologised. In addition to cameras in classrooms which allow parents to check up on their children, further cameras will be set up in the playground where the fights were held.

Kenny and White are due to appear in court today (4 September) to enter pleas. No serious injuries to children involved in the fights at the day-care centre were reported.