Mum arrives at daycare centre and finds her baby LOCKED inside after staff go home for weekend
Every parents worst nightmare
By Practical Parenting team
February 07 2019
A horrified mum has described her panic and terror as she went to collect her six-month-old son from daycare - only to find him locked in after staff went home early for the weekend.
Tanaya Merchen went to pick up her son, Avery, from Kids R US Childcare Center in Billings, Montana, USA after work.
But when she arrived, all the doors were locked and the lights turned off. No-one answered the door and she couldn't find anyone nearby.
The 30-year-old single mom described the heart-stopping moment to the MailOnline saying, 'When I first got to the daycare, at about 5.45pm, the whole building was dark and appeared closed. I got out and tried to open the door and it was locked. I instantly panicked,' Merchen said.
She called Kids R US Childcare Center director, Evi Pickering, who immediately jumped in the car and arrived back at the centre.
'At that point, I really didn't know where my son was,' explained the worried mum. 'I didn't know if he was with her or inside or what the situation was.'
'[Pickering] pulled up a few minutes later and instantly ran to the door, unlocked it, ran inside and went back to the baby nap room. I followed - and my son was laying awake in one of the playpacks,' Tanaya explained.
'She grabbed him and just kept telling me how mad she was that the employee that was supposed to stay got sick and had to leave... I was in shock.'
The director of the day care centre said some of the staff members were new - and are not used to working the baby room.
Tanaya heard later that the staff member who was guilty of leaving and locking the baby in was given a two week probation.
Tanaya called the police who called Child Protective Services and the centre could now face criminal charges for leaving the baby alone.
Tanaya's friend is now looking after her son until she can find a new day care but Tanaya is not sure she will be able to trust her child with another childcare centre.
'I don't know if I will ever feel comfortable again... I feel traumatized for my son and have little to no trust in anyone,' Tanaya added, while speaking to DailyMail.com.
Kim Redding, who owns the centre, said the incident was due to a 'miscommunication' by her staff.
She said, 'It was a horrible mistake and we’re sorry... we have a damage control method for staff to check out the sign-out sheets and be careful.'