In May of 2018, a state investigator with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Child-Care Licensing division conducted an investigation at a Texas daycare after the staff allegedly released a child to the wrong parent at pick up.
The investigation revealed that the parent arrived at the daycare to pick up their two children. At the time of retrieving the younger of the two children, it was naptime, so the lights were claimed to have been low. The daycare employee pointed to a specific child for the parent to pick up, incorrectly identifying the child to the parent.
The parent proceeded to wake up the child to take them home from the daycare. According to video footage reviewed by the investigator, there was no blanket covering the child at the time. The parent picked up the child and took them to the car when they realized that the child was not theirs. The parent brought the child back into the daycare and told the daycare’s staff that they were given the wrong child.
The daycare claimed that the two children looked alike, and the children had similar blankets, and that’s how they got them mixed up. Additionally, both children in the class were new to the daycare, and the daycare director and teacher claimed to not be very familiar with them on a name-to-face basis.
To see the whole incident report, click here.
Following this incident, the daycare has reported that they plan to implement a new system where the newly enrolled children will be required to where a name tag with their name and clothing description so new staff members can become more acquainted with the identity of each child. Is this enough?
Ultimately, the investigator determined there was evidence to support a violation of the minimum standards for childcare in Texas, section 746.4101, the proper release of children.
What Went Wrong?
Daycares should have procedures in place to prevent this very thing from happening. They should know who each child is and not work off assumptions – like how in this case, they assumed they knew who each child was without verifying the information. This situation could have been exceptionally dangerous – if the child had been placed in the wrong hands, a parent’s worst nightmare could have happened.
Additionally, the daycare used an excuse to take blame off themselves – that the two children were both new and that they looked alike. It is the responsibility of the daycare staff to know these things – which children are new, what their names are, and who their parents are. Parents pay daycares to keep their kids safe and secure while they’re at work – if the staff isn’t paying attention to the differences between the children, what else are they not paying attention to?
How This Could Have Been Prevented
This situation was completely preventable. The daycare should have kept correct tabs on each child – highlighting factors that differentiate children, even if they look alike or are dressed similarly. Daycares should have a precise name-to-face recognition system in place to ensure they are always identifying the correct child. There is no excuse as to why this even happened – it’s the responsibility of the daycare and their caregivers to monitor these details.
Daycares must know the names of every child enrolled and what class they’re in. Daycares must use an appropriate name-to-face system to keep tabs on each child.
How the Button Law Firm Can Help
If you discover that your child was picked up by another parent or an unauthorized person, it’s important that you hold the daycare accountable. There are clear measures daycares must take to prevent this very thing from happening.
To learn more about making a legal claim against the daycare, contact our firm today. We ensure daycares who cut corners are held accountable and never cause harm to another family again. You can contact us by giving us a call at (214) 699-4409 or by emailing [email protected]