Investigation launched after child was left behind in locked plantation daycare building – NBC 6 South Florida
Multiple agencies are investigating after a mother picked up her child from a Plantation daycare center only to find the building was locked and the toddler was left inside alone.
Plantation police responded to the KinderCare Learning Center, located at 10790 West Sunrise Boulevard, just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after the child’s mother went to daycare to pick up her 2-year-old daughter only to find the building was locked. . and the lights were off.
The woman called 911 upon seeing her child through the front door window in a darkened room, realizing she was locked inside, officials said. She filmed the toddler with her mobile phone from outside the building as she spoke to an operator.
“That poor child,” the woman is heard saying in the video, sobbing. “I’m coming, okay? »
The Plantation Fire Department was able to open the doors to the building to let the child out, according to an incident report. The girl was examined by paramedics and did not require medical attention.
“She’s super traumatized,” the mother, Stephanie Martinez, told NBC 6 by phone. “It is not fair.”
KinderCare closes for the day at 6 p.m. but generally remains open for parents who regularly pick up their children late.
The daycare assistant director came to the scene after the incident and told police that she and another teacher were the last two employees on the scene. Both left around 6:20 p.m. and the mother arrived about eight minutes later to pick up her child, according to the incident report.
The mother told the police that she had not received a call from the daycare center to pick up her child.
It is still unclear exactly what led to the incident. Employees told police they were using a tablet to check on all the children.
KinderCare released a statement saying that while they were grateful the child was found quickly, the incident should never have happened.
“We take all concerns about child safety seriously and follow specific protocol whenever an issue is raised. Part of that protocol includes notifying our agency partners, such as state licensing and child protective services, as we did in this case,” the statement read. part. “We have also placed affected staff members on administrative leave while we, and our agency partners, examine the issue in more detail.”
The child’s aunt, Samantha Scaramellino, posted about the incident on Facebook and said the mother called her after discovering the building was closed and asked if she had picked up the child.
“After a call to the police, I told her to walk around the building knocking on all the windows and after a while, in the dark room, she sees her face emerging,” Scaramellino wrote.
Martinez said her daughter, Anastasia, was able to push a chair next to the window and stand up to get her attention.
“It’s the worst feeling ever. You feel helpless,” Martinez said. “There’s nothing you can do to console her. She was stressed out and definitely crying the whole time she was there alone.”
Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Services and Plantation Police are investigating the incident.
“Nobody should ever go through this,” Martinez said. “You pay for trust and they completely canceled that. I have no words, I’m still in shock right now.”