A mother in Montana is speaking out after her 6-month-old son was reportedly forgotten in a daycare that had shut its doors for the weekend.
Tanaya Merchen told KULR that her infant son, Avery, was left at Kids “R” Us daycare during after hours. She recalled going to pick her son Friday only to be met by locked doors.
“So it was instant panic, like I had no idea what the situation was I just knew I couldn’t get in there, and I knew nobody else picked my baby up, so I was very confused,” she said. “I called the director lady, the one I communicate with the most. She answers and instantly she already knew. She told me, she said, ‘I am so mad. I am almost there.'”
Daycare owner Kim Redding told the station that miscommunication between staff caused Friday’s incident. Redding claimed staff said all the kids had gone, leading someone to instruct them to leave for the weekend while she vacuumed.
The news station learned that the employee who allegedly left the infant behind has 17 years of experience.
“It was a horrible mistake, and we’re sorry, and we got a damage control method just to double check all of the staff to check out the sign-out sheets just to be careful, and it was a horrible mistake. I’m not downplaying it, it was a bad mistake,” Redding said.
According to KTVQ, the Billings-based business has received eight complaints since 2007. In 2015, the Montana Department of Health and Human Services found the center didn’t have enough caregivers for the number of children being cared for and that children were being left unattended. KULR reported that officials found eight children to one caregiver in June 2017.
In 2015, caregivers reportedly claimed they received inadequate training and didn’t know how to care for special needs children despite the daycare accepting them. Medicine was improperly stored and staff was unaware of how to administer it, the agency alleged.
The same report stated that staff used intimidation and scare tactics to reprimand a 6-year-old in their care.
The news station reported that the Department of Health and Human Services renewed Kids “R” Us’ license in March. Local police said information regarding the latest incident has been forwarded to Child Protective Services.
[Featured Image: KULR video screenshot]