Distracted caregiver leaves a child alone in a classroom for an undetermined amount of time.
Daycare and Deficiencies: Popular licensed child care program located in Fort Worth, Texas.
The facility was cited for violating standard 746.1203(4) – Responsibilities of Caregivers – Supervision of Children for losing track of a child during outdoor playtime.
Date of incident: June 14, 2018
Summary of the Report: Texas Child Care and Licensing division of the Texas Health and Human Services Department investigates an incident involving a young child being left alone in a classroom for an undetermined amount of time.
The caregiver in charge of the child reports that she was distracted by a child that had fallen when a different child turned around and ran back inside to the building and inside a classroom. The caregiver reports that she did not notice the child had gone back inside until she lined the class up later to go inside. The child was left alone inside the classroom for an undetermined amount of time while his/her teacher was outside and unaware that he/she was missing.
Upon discovering what happened, the assistant director reports that she notified the daycare’s risk team, directors, and the state licensing division. The director of the center reports that she notified the parent, informed her of the incident, and provided her with an incident report. The operation then placed the responsible caregiver on administrative leave during the investigation.
The investigation report notes that the stories given by the distracted caregiver and the assistant director were conflicting. Based on the two versions of the events in the report, we do not know what actually led to the child being left alone and we do not know how long the child was left alone.
The investigation report does not speak to whether the daycare required any additional training for its caregivers following this incident.
Fortunately, the child was found without physical injury or incident.
Daycares are supposed to have systems in place to prevent them from losing track of the children in their care. The caregivers are required to double check and make sure all children are properly accounted for. If childcare providers skip these steps, the consequences could be dangerous or even fatal for the children who are forgotten.
Losing Track of Children is All Too Common in Daycares
Unfortunately, daycares losing track of children happens all too often. The root cause is often a failure to supervise, a high ratio of children per caregiver, or a lack of training on how to do an effective name-to-face check to keep track of all children.
We always recommend that parents ask about the daycare’s policy on performing the name-to-face identification checks and make sure that they meet their expectations. Ask the daycare how they go about making sure that every child is always accounted for at all times because when daycares lose track of the children in their care, children can get hurt.
Our team has made combatting daycare negligence a focus of our practice. We have heard the heartbreaking stories of parents whose child has been lost and left alone by the daycare. We have handled more than one case where a child was left outside for hours in 40 degree and rainy weather, completely unknown to the caregivers in charge of their safety. You have the right to expect that your daycare always knows where your child is at all times while in their care.
See these additional resources for what to do after you think your child was harmed in daycare:
How the Button Law Firm is Combatting Negligent Daycares
If you are searching for the right daycare for your child, we have created a guide with 11 Tips to Help Parents Search for a Safe Daycare. Making an informed decision on what daycare to send your child to is of the utmost importance to us.
We suggest reading over our free guide before choosing a daycare to ensure you aren’t getting a sales pitch, but rather a great facility that puts children over profit. You can also use this guide to help you find and deal with red flags at your child’s current daycare center.
The guide is completely FREE and available in a PDF and a paper copy for your convenience. We will even send a paper copy to your home at no cost.
Do you believe your child was neglected or forgotten at Daycare? It’s important to take action—reach out to us for additional information. You can call us at (214) 699-4409 or email us at [email protected]. You can also fill out this form to speak to our team.
What Do I Do If a Daycare Lost Track of My Child?
If your daycare lost track of your child, report the incident to your state's licensing division. If the incident happened in Texas, you can report it by contacting the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Abuse and Neglect Hotline by calling 1-800-252-5400 or by reporting through their online portal here. If the incident happened in another state, visit our page on How to Report Daycare Injuries by State to learn more about how to report the incident that happened with your child.
It is important that you report the incident even if you feel it was not the result of intentional abuse or neglect or if your child was found without injury. The state licensing division needs to know when things like this happen so that daycares are held accountable in their training and safety systems to keep children safe at all times.
If your child has been the victim of daycare negligence or abuse, please gives us a call at 214-699-4409 or reach out to us online. Our team works tirelessly to make sure that negligent daycares don’t get away with injuring children and families in our community.