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Toddler locked in at day care!

Do you trust your day care centre?

child crying at window

A horrified father arrived at his 20-month-old toddler’s day care centre only to find that the staff had left for the day, leaving his son alone inside.

According to a report, the aftercare centre staff had thought that all of the children had been collected, and locked the building.

Little HJ Mostert was, however, left behind, and was later discovered crying and drenched in sweat from his traumatic experience.

The staff member responsible for making sure that all of the children were collected was “given a warning”.

After moving his son to a new day care centre, HJ’s shocked dad commented: “They can’t simply assume a child’s parents came to fetch him. What if he’d been walking in the street?”

This nightmare scenario is something any parent would dread: Leaving your child in the care of someone, only to have this trust relationship shattered by a potentially dangerous situation.

Surely the staff of a day care should ensure that children are collected by their parents? Fortunately, in this instance, the child’s father discovered the error, but if staff can’t fulfil this basic task, then another question is raised: What goes on in your child’s day care when you aren’t looking?

You pay a lot of money to professionals in order to have peace of mind about their safety- and yet a staff member who places a child in danger is merely let off with a warning, as if a child is just an object.

As parents of young kids, we know what it is to be distracted or absent-minded (ever found your keys in the freezer, or forgotten to pick your child up from a playdate?), but if you’re paying for care, you do expect that your child will be properly looked after.

Once that trust relationship is gone, it’s easy to imagine other things which could go wrong in a day care situation: Compromised hygiene issues, life-threatening exposure to wires or dangerous play equipment, or even just bumps, bullying and bruises which are never written down in an incident book.

What do you think about the case of the locked-in toddler?
By: Scott Dunlop

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