Mum’s horror when she arrived to six-month-old son from nursery only to discover staff had locked him inside and closed up for the weekend
Tanaya Merchen went to pick up her infant son Avery from the Kids R US Child Care Center in Montana after work on Friday.
When the 30-year-old arrived to the nursery school at 5:45pm she discovered the doors were locked and the lights were shut off.
The single mum started to panic and called the nursery director Evi Pickering, who then rushed over.
Tanaya told the Mail Online: “At that point I didn’t know where my son was.
“I didn’t know if he was with her or inside or what the situation was.”
Evi found her Avery in the back in the nap room where he was awake.
Tanaya added: “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 added the some of the staff members were new and didn’t have a lot of experience working in the baby room.
Tanaya parted ways with the nursery, despite Evi saying she put the new staff members on a two-week probation.
She was able have a friend watch her son when she went to work the next day on Saturday.
The ExxonMobil Billings Refinery worker also told her supervisor she couldn’t work until she found a nursery she trusted.
However, a wife of one her co-workers agreed to care for Avery until she did.
Tanaya was given funds via a state-assisted scholarship so Avery could go to a nursery.
She said: “I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable again. I feel traumatised for my son and have little to no trust in anyone.”
The mum has filed a report with the Billings Police Department, which has been transferred to Child Protection Services.
The Kids R US Child Care Center now faces child abuse charges.
Kim Redding, the owner, told local KULR it was “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.”
An investigation is currently underway.
KULR reported via Child Care Licensing (CCL) in 2014 that 18 children found under the supervision of an “unapproved” caregiver.
The CCL found that eight children were under the supervision of only one employee; when at least two need to be present if there are more than six children.
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