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Old 01-04-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default Horror Story: Lost Child Incident At Daycare...Thoughts?

I still have chills and memories about it to this day but when I worked at a licensed daycare I was part of an incident involving a lost child. I suppose I am writing this partially because I want to vent and partially because I am interested in the thoughts of others on this issue. Please read my story and if you respond, please do it sincerely as I believe that this kind of freak accident could happen to anyone. Thank you.

My last day at the facility (the day of the incident and the the day I got fired) as an assistant teacher has been on my mind for the past two years and is as follows:

I arrived at work on time. Not early and not late. At this point I had worked at the facility for nearly 3 months and with constant praise from the lead teachers I worked with because I was a "natural" at my job. Just to say, I had worked at McDonald's previously and was never praised for my work so I knew it was sincere job appreciation.

Anyhow, I was just about to report to my usual room (the 2 year olds) until the director came up behind me and said that I should go to the 3 year old room because a few people called in sick and they needed my help in that room all day.

When I got in the room I was greeted by the lead teacher and another assistant. We supervised the kids for about an hour together before the lead teacher ended up going to another area of the building (sometimes she doubled as administrative staff).

She left us instructions about how the rest of the day should go and so two assistant teachers (one being me and another girl) lead the room for the rest of the day with the lead teacher only checking back occasionally.

Some things to keep in mind are that: I had never worked with these specific kids so I didn't know their names or their personalities. Heck, I had never worked with the 3 year old age group ever before that day. I barely realized there was a ratio difference to keep in mind between adults and children in the room. I also did not realize at the time how different the daily routine was from the 2 year old group nor did I realize the behaviors of the kids were a lot different than the 2 year old group that I was working with on a daily basis.

Because of this, the kids got into a bigger mess when they did their shaving cream activity, it was harder to address their toileting needs because it wasn't as simple as changing diapers, and they wouldn't listen to me as well when I tried to direct them or discipline them etc.

Even though I ended up in that room most of the day, during nap time I left the room (on the director's request) to go to the 4 year old room for nap time to relieve another worker for their lunch break. Even though most of the kids were to sleep, some where not and I was instructed to sit when them at their cot and help them get to sleep. I had never been in the 4 year old room until that day as well. As soon as the lady's lunch break was over I left the 4 year old room and headed back to the 3 year old room.

Essentially, I had missed the 3 year old's lunch time and most of their nap time. I came in to the kids waking up and having snack time after nap time.

Fast forward to the end of the day when me and the other assistant teacher took the 3 year olds out to play on the fenced-in daycare playground. At this point, the lead teacher was no longer checking in on me and the other assistant teacher every so often because for whatever reason, I overheard the director let her go home early that day. Anyhow, me and the assistant still had 8 or 9 children outside on the fenced-in playground. The ratio of kids to adults was 1 to 7 (which I later found out that it should have been 1 to 5 for my state standards because in an effort to shuffle kids around to maintain ratio they had to mixed two 2 year olds in with the group of 3 year olds I was watching). Anyow, we were all outside. Again, because this was only was this the first time I had ever been with the 3 year old group, I obviously had never been outside with them either. I didn't know how rough they played or that they liked to hide on certain equipment, or that they wouldn't behave for me when I told them to line up (although now I think I should have seen that coming since the rest of the day didn't go smoothly).

So little did I know, the facility was so short on help that day that they were just waiting for the group of 3 year olds I was watching to dwindle down to proper ratio in order to have the assistant I was with ditch me for another room so that I was completely left alone with these kids and it was "acceptable" because then I'd be in ratio and of course had the standard background check when I was hired.

I remember feeling at the time that I was unsure of the other assistant leaving me alone because I didn't know the children very well or even their names. I briefly brought this up to the assistant and another employee that happened to come on to the playground to visit and they both bullied me into thinking that everything was going to be fine because it was 2 hours till closing and all I had to do was bring the remaining 7 children inside in 15 mins and watch them in that room till the parents came to get them. So with those thoughts, when I was in ratio, the other assistant teacher left me as the director had told her to do in order for her to go to another room.

I nervously watched the kids play for the next 10 mins and then decided I should have them line up at the gate to go inside because I didn't even have a watch on me and didn't want to stay outside alone any longer. When I told the kids it was time to go in and line up, most of the 7 kids lined up, but a few were running around the yard as if they were playing tag with me. I could only call one by name because she was from the 2 year old room and when I called her by her full name she lined up. I didn't know the other 3 year olds names and I was not left with a roster when I was outside so it was harder to verbally discipline them to stop running around and line up.

Finally, but some miracle I was able to get them all lined up and did a head count before opening the gate to go inside. I counted 6 children and somehow I forgot to count the 7th. I attribute this to an overwhelming amount of factors some of which were that I didn't know he might have been hiding on the playground equipment (even tho I swear I checked it before lining the kids up) I think he must have slipped out of sight when the other kids were running around after telling them to line up.

Another theory is that when another employee came to visit them on playground she took the 7th kid for an errand because he wanted to go with her (this was facility was on the smaller side so things like that happened). I know it's hard to follow but if I didn't accidentally leave the 7th child on the playground because he was hiding, then perhaps this employee took the child for an errand and when she returned to the playground I had already gone inside with the other children so she dropped the child off in a different room.

At any rate, I didn't realize the child was missing until a half hour later when his father showed up to pick up his child. What makes matters worse is I barely knew the child's name or what he looked like when his father asked where he was.

It only took a matter of 5 or 10 mins at the most to find the child. I would say more like 5 even though it felt like an eternity. I can't tell you where they found the child because I was in complete shock and didn't hear exactly where they found him. I don't believe it was on the playground. I think he was playing in another room with a bunch of children either because he found his way there or because whoever found him, dropped him off in the wrong room.

My first thought was not a thought at all. It was pure shock. Nothing of the sort had ever happened under my watch before at this facility or at any other facility or personal experience watching children. It was truly a freak accident. During those five minutes when I processed what happened my mind turned from shock to horror and anxiety as I thought what could have happened to the kid. What if for some reason he tried to climb the fence and fell and injured himself or even worse what if he made it over the fence and died trying to cross the busy road etc.? Would I be held legally responsible? Would I face jail time for manslaughter or child endangerment all because of a freak accident? I was paralyzed with fear for the child and for myself.

Well, about 10 mins after they found the child and the director had talked to the father, the director called me into her office and fired me on the spot. I can't say I saw that coming because she did it so calmly and because I was a very naive person who thought just perhaps I would be given a second chance because I was so highly praised by all the lead teachers who worked there.

Thinking about it now, I am quite lucky that no legal trouble came from any of it. I left the facility in tears immediate after the incident (which was coincidentally the end of the day anyhow) and I never looked back.

I am not asking for sympathy. I already feel like the worst monster in the world for what happened under my watch. That being the case, no matter what flack I get for saying this, I truly believe it was as much fault of the daycare facility as my fault for what happened. I wish when she was explaining why they had to "let me go" that they would have owned up for some of the responsibility for losing the kid. I was in such shock so I didn't speak out either. I was going to get fired anyhow so I prob. should have gave them a piece of my mind about how they were endangering the kids in the first place by their unfair business practices of allowing the lead teacher to not only leave the room all day, but to let her go home early for an unknown reason, for not only knowing leaving me alone at full ratio with a group of kids that I didn't know but leaving me alone with them OUTSIDE at a crucial transition period, etc.

I guess I'm going to close this post by saying if you stuck with me through this entire story, thanks for listening to me vent and if you have anything to say I'm open to hearing it (after all I made the decision to post this here).
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:38 AM
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Well what I have to say is completely in your defense. I don't see how it is your fault at all. The center sounds completely unorganized and it sounds like you were over ratio, left alone with too many kids and you didn't even know their names!
I know you feel terrible and I would too, but honestly, that center needs to look at how they do things.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:40 AM
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I dont feel you were the only one who made mistakes. My advice, remember the lesson, forget the guilt. :-)
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:45 AM
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I have just recently left the center setting after almost 15 years and know how things work at most,not all, most centers! I worked in a fairly large corporate center. Sorry this happened to you, what happened to you can happen to anyone! Unfortunately putting assistant teachers in for lead teachers is common practice. In my state leads have to be in the classroom for at least 6 hours (I think) a day. But assistants would come in and relieve the leads even if they weren't familiar with the kids. But one thing the center that I worked at did was have very strict attendance policies for the kids. We had to have a clip board with us everywhere we went, even on walks to the office and had to sign the kids in and out every time we left and entered the classroom, outside, the indoor gym, etc. on top of having a head count and checking them off while we were doing the headcount. Too bad your center didn't have the same. But with that said, there were still a couple of times where a kid was left outside or was in the hallway, it just happened. One time a child ran out the door and was in the hallway (this child always did this), but the teachers in the room that day did get fired for that happening. And I know how the children act, especially at that age, when the lead leaves! It can be pure chaos especially if that teacher is new or is not in that room all the time! Lining up form outside was the worst! In our state the ratio for 3 is 1:10! That's why I chose to be an infant and toddler lead...lol I think that all centers should be required to have an attendance system so that this won't happen. I do believe that leads can't be there all day everyday, but some sort of system should have been put into place! Part of the blame should be on the center. Sorry this happened to you!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DaisyMamma View Post
Well what I have to say is completely in your defense. I don't see how it is your fault at all. The center sounds completely unorganized and it sounds like you were over ratio, left alone with too many kids and you didn't even know their names!
I know you feel terrible and I would too, but honestly, that center needs to look at how they do things.
I totally agree!
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:01 PM
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I dont see this as your fault at all OP. The daycare knowingly shuffled kids around, was short staffed, did not train you properly and did not have any policies in place to prevent this from happening. I also dont see this as a freak accident at all. It is extremely common in daycare centers unfortunately. Everything from leaving untrained staff alone, being over ratio, shuffling kids to and fro, not having safety measures in place, and choosing a scapegoat to fire when a parent walks in at an unfortunate moment.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:10 PM
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I dont see this as your fault at all OP. The daycare knowingly shuffled kids around, was short staffed, did not train you properly and did not have any policies in place to prevent this from happening. I also dont see this as a freak accident at all. It is extremely common in daycare centers unfortunately. Everything from leaving untrained staff alone, being over ratio, shuffling kids to and fro, not having safety measures in place, and choosing a scapegoat to fire when a parent walks in at an unfortunate moment.
This exactly is my opinion too.

My children were in a center and I took after they told me my children's enrolment put them over ratio.....5 months later! The stories my kids told me after we left haunt me to this day
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:14 PM
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I don't think it is entirely your fault. What about the teachers in the other room - did they not notice another child coming in?

I have a friend who worked in a center and she said it was all about ratios, combining rooms when numbers got low, and sending workers home. How sad for the kids to be cared for by people who they don't even know. This just affirms for me that home daycare is a better option.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:15 PM
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I've worked in daycares that have been just as unorganized as the one you are descibing and these things happen when you shuffle kids and teachers around who barely know each other. It is not ok to leave an assistant in a classroom by herself with a group of kids she doesn't know...but it happens all the time. I feel like you got the short end of the stick in this situation. I;m sorry this happened to you.

By the way, I'm not just speaking as a child care provider, I am a parent and my child WAS lost at daycare. He was 18 months old and they were coming in from outside with the lead teacher only she decided that she should walk in front of the children and expect her 6 one year olds to follow without even looking back to check. She got to the classroom and did not do a headcount. Another teacher looked over her door to say something to her (these rooms were only spereated by a half door) and then asked "where's ____ and _____?" TWO kids were missing and all she said while looking around the room was "I don't know" The other teacher left her class to look for the kids (leaving that class out of ratio but she didn't have much choice as there was never anybody on the office to relieve us) well she looked though the whol center and finally got to the office and the front door was open and both children were in the parking lot playing on some broken playground equipment by the dumpster. This center was on a busy highway road and had a huge ditch at another end of the parking lot. I worked at this place and I was on break (eating lunch at a restarunt) when it happened and they didn't tell me until 2 hours after I clocked back on. Needless to say, I left right then and only came back for my check.

In my situation it was mostly the teachers fault BUT the center still takes a lot of the blame in my eyes. If two kids can walk out the front door there's huge safety issues there

Anyway,sorry to go off on a different story but I just thought you'd like to know that from someone who's been on the other side of the situation, I'm on your side
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:22 PM
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I don't think it is entirely your fault. What about the teachers in the other room - did they not notice another child coming in?

I have a friend who worked in a center and she said it was all about ratios, combining rooms when numbers got low, and sending workers home. How sad for the kids to be cared for by people who they don't even know. This just affirms for me that home daycare is a better option.
What you said is so true! While I loved my co-workers, the company was all about saving money. The center I worked at did all of what your friend said that daycares do, but I have to say that we did have strict rules, especially on staying in ratio and had a great system to keep track of the kids whether you were the assistant or lead. If only all centers were like that! By that I meant having strict rules and policies, not doing the other things!
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:34 PM
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From what you've written, I would agree that the center is partly to blame for what happened. Firing you probably placated the angry parent and relieved the center's director and remaining staff from having to accept blame for his "missing" child. It probably kept the parent from calling licensing to report the incident. "Phew! That was a close one!" for the center.

The fact that you knew there were 7 kids outside playing, only counted 6 when you went inside and didn't pick up on the fact that there was one missing makes it your mistake, too. (I know you know that.) You're human. You made an unfortunate mistake. I'm sure you feel a lot of guilt over it and probably a lot of anger and frustration over the fact that the center blamed you and basically used you as a scapegoat. Two years is an awfully long time to be beating yourself up for what happened, though - especially since the child was found and was okay. Hopefully, venting about it has helped. If not and you find you can't get past it, you may want to try talking to a professional about it. You shouldn't have to continuing feeling like a "monster". It's time to let it go.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:51 PM
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From what you've written, I would agree that the center is partly to blame for what happened. Firing you probably placated the angry parent and relieved the center's director and remaining staff from having to accept blame for his "missing" child. It probably kept the parent from calling licensing to report the incident. "Phew! That was a close one!" for the center.

The fact that you knew there were 7 kids outside playing, only counted 6 when you went inside and didn't pick up on the fact that there was one missing makes it your mistake, too. (I know you know that.) You're human. You made an unfortunate mistake. I'm sure you feel a lot of guilt over it and probably a lot of anger and frustration over the fact that the center blamed you and basically used you as a scapegoat. Two years is an awfully long time to be beating yourself up for what happened, though - especially since the child was found and was okay. Hopefully, venting about it has helped. If not and you find you can't get past it, you may want to try talking to a professional about it. You shouldn't have to continuing feeling like a "monster". It's time to let it go.
I agree, I wouldn't beat myself up about it either, like ej said, we are all human, mistakes are going to happen, that's how we live and learn...believe me I have made my share of mistakes throughout life, some were harder to let go than others, but I agree you do have to let go or get help before the guilt eats you up.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:09 PM
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I was lost at a center daycare when I was 3 (granted this was years ago). My mother and the police were called. In the end they found me on the 3rd floor (2 floors above where I was supposed to be) curled up in a crib next to my infant sister. I wasn't scarred for life so don't beat yourself up over your case. The child wasn't hurt and it was just a series of unfortunate incidents.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:29 PM
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Definitely not your fault. You were not properly supported, trained or prepared to deal with the situation that was thrown in your lap.

I think the system of large scale care like that is broken. My own similar experiences as a child in a large center are exactly why I do what I do today.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:35 PM
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See there is a prime example of the misconception parents receive about centers. To some parents they look like the almighty answer but their not. I feel like they are less monitered then home childcares. I don't know why but I just do.

Then with this new star's rating system and feeling like they are trying to oust family childcares, I think why? Why would they want to have children in these centers that are more institulinized and just seem yuck. Every center I have been in has felt dirty to me for some reason. I have been in 3 out of 5 in my area and they all felt dirty.

So in my mind I would like toknow why parents pick centers over family home?

Sorry not trying to hi-jack but your post made my mind start thinking!!!

Also, I do not think you were in the wrong in any shape or form-
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:01 PM
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I don't think it is entirely your fault. What about the teachers in the other room - did they not notice another child coming in?
.
That was never explained to me. What also gets me is there were two other adjacent fenced in playgrounds for lower age groups that had groups out at the same time as me. When I lined the kids up, the other age groups stayed out there. Not once from the half hour after I went inside to the time his father came in, did any assistant/lead teachers from outside knock on my door that leads out there and say, "I think you left a kid out there because he's alone and looks confused". I can't believe that no one saw him out there in that half hour and came to me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:14 PM
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Default Thank you guys!!!

I wasn't sure what to expect when posting because of how I felt about it myself and of how bad the posts were when I looked into other forums of this similar situation. You guys are really nice and I cried happy tears when I read your posts :-)

I always thought I'd want to try the same type of daycare facility again (especially since I happened to move out of state...don't worry.... unrelated to the incident) but now that I see my situation isn't unique. In-fact, I'm really disgusted with the general practices that these kind of daycares have. I didn't even go into other issues I had with the facility. For example, like the fact that they never even seemed to have hot water when washing anything and that I was ALWAYS sick when I worked with a cold or a fever because the kids came in sick and only left when their fever hit 101. It seems that you have to get lucky with good practices in place, if you want to work in a franchise company daycare. I am certainly more educated than I was about my career and about sending my own future kids to daycare.

As I said, I don't have my own kids yet (just love others) so if I go into daycare again, it will def. be as an assistant in a home daycare or I will open my own daycare with safer ratios than the recommended state guidelines :-)
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:25 AM
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I agree with what others said. The only thing I will add is that in my state, assistant teachers can only be in the room alone with a group of children for the first and last two hours of care and at nap time. At all other times, a lead teacher must be in the room. Sorry for what happened to you.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
See there is a prime example of the misconception parents receive about centers. To some parents they look like the almighty answer but their not. I feel like they are less monitered then home childcares. I don't know why but I just do.

Then with this new star's rating system and feeling like they are trying to oust family childcares, I think why? Why would they want to have children in these centers that are more institulinized and just seem yuck. Every center I have been in has felt dirty to me for some reason. I have been in 3 out of 5 in my area and they all felt dirty.

So in my mind I would like toknow why parents pick centers over family home?

Sorry not trying to hi-jack but your post made my mind start thinking!!!

Also, I do not think you were in the wrong in any shape or form-
Some of the reasons I have heard for parents picking centers over home care....

*sibling discounts
*longer hours
*home daycares do not have backup providers if the main one is sick
*centers provide academics/curriculum
*more kids = more socialization at centers
*experienced or certified teachers
*more security against child abuse/neglect because there is more than one person with their child
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:46 PM
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I agree with what others said. The only thing I will add is that in my state, assistant teachers can only be in the room alone with a group of children for the first and last two hours of care and at nap time. At all other times, a lead teacher must be in the room. Sorry for what happened to you.
that policy really doesnt seem full proof either. The assistant is still potentially left alone during the busiest times of the day, pickup and drop off. Plus the potential of four hours total added to the nap time....isnt that at least half the day anyway, maybe more for some kids. I am guessing that about 6 hours of care provided by one teacher only.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:30 PM
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I was in the same kind of disorganized, fly-by-night situation as that for five years. I started at 19, untrained and sent on a field trip with children I had never seen before. Children and teachers were routinely bounced from room to room, children of differing ratios were mixed without adjusting the staff, we were expected and forced to operate out of ratio daily.

An assistant did lose track of a child briefly on a field trip once. I am amazed that's the only mishap we ever had. We had plenty of near mishaps and situations that could've turned really bad, but through the grace of God didn't. My fellow members can attest to this .

But I have to disagree with some of the other posters. I think when you (and Im talking about myself here too) agree to and continue to do something that you know is not right and makes you uncomfortable, you are at fault as well. They were extremely negligent and careless in how they operated, but you yourself said many times in your post that you felt uncomfortable and unsafe in those situations. Its your (our) job to step up and say no. And if you dont know something, ask. We take care of people's children, we cant afford to wing it.

I'm not being self righteous at all. I am just as at fault for all the wrong and unsafe situations I participated in, as I feel you were. Just take this as a learning experience, I did.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:40 PM
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Sorry this happened to U. Make peace with it. It sounds like you were doing your best. That's all any of us can do. I hate that large centers can be equal to a puppy mill. I know not all operate that way. Sorry if I offend those who are working in group centers.

I owned a smaller center (licensed for 30 kids) for a few years. I counted, counted, counted when we were outside or at the park.....it's hard and draining. And these kids were familiar to me. I was co-owned was director and lead 4/5 teacher. I knew who was enrolled at the center, names, ages, etc. and it was a a fairly small place. Like I said, it's hard work. I sold out to my co-owner and went back to family child care.....ahhhhhh-I adored being back with my cozy group.

Long live family child care,
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:07 PM
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that policy really doesnt seem full proof either. The assistant is still potentially left alone during the busiest times of the day, pickup and drop off. Plus the potential of four hours total added to the nap time....isnt that at least half the day anyway, maybe more for some kids. I am guessing that about 6 hours of care provided by one teacher only.
I agree; it's not foolproof.
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:18 AM
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The daycare knowingly shuffled kids around, was short staffed, did not train you properly and did not have any policies in place to prevent this from happening. I also dont see this as a freak accident at all. It is extremely common in daycare centers unfortunately. Everything from leaving untrained staff alone, being over ratio, shuffling kids to and fro, not having safety measures in place, and choosing a scapegoat to fire when a parent walks in at an unfortunate moment.
Your extreme guilt tells me you are a conscientious employee and it was their loss. Find yourself a better job, thank God the child was OK and chalk it up to experience.

Leaving a young, inexperienced worker with a gaggle of 3 year olds (and 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds) without a roster was probably illegal. They fired you and left you feeling guilty so they wouldn't get reported. Nice place - NOT!
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  #25  
Old 01-07-2013, 09:08 AM
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just my two cents ...... but people need to realize that there is good and bad in every situation. Yes, there may be some bad centers but there are also some very good (and clean) daycare programs that have caring staff that work in them. Just as there are some not so good home daycare situations / and some really good home daycare situations. There is always the best and worst of both out there.
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  #26  
Old 02-19-2016, 01:06 PM
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I was saddened to read about your experience. Unfortunately, most daycares seem to run this way. I am at a center currently that has issues and now some citations. I have worked there two years and have seen how they have put me in similar situations. I am at a point where I may have to move on.

Do not blame yourself. They chose to blame you when their bad business practices were exposed. This was not your fault. The situation was beyond your control. You mentioned another teacher may have grabbed the child. Why was this teacher not responsible? It is not OK for another teacher to come and take the child without fully explaining it to you and she should have obtained your permission, since you were in charge at that point.

The whole thing is a shambles and that daycare hopefully is no longer in business. I hope you are able to make peace with yourself and that you have moved on to better things.
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  #27  
Old 02-19-2016, 01:44 PM
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When we were doing Foster care, we were put in a situation where we had an issue with a kiddo and the social worker would not help us. We were found at fault for what happened, but the foster care agency lost their foster care license.

It is something that still plagues DH and I.

So I will say that I understand your issue. I also understand that fault can lay 50/50. All you can do is learn from it. From our situation, we learned that no matter how much someone begs, pleads, pushes etc. NEVER do anything if it goes against your gut feeling about what you can handle. In our case, a social worker made her emergency to place a child our emergency. We had the teenager once before, and he was not a good match for our home, or any home for that matter, his issues required a higher level of group home care. But that costs more so after being there for awhile they begged us to take him back.

Our initial answer was no but they kept pushing. Not many foster homes even accept teens. This particular "child" didn't get our undivided attention that night (and how can you when you have six kids in the house? So he started taking tylenol by the hand fulls. No it wasn't out of reach, because this "kid" was over 6' tall! At the end of the day we were cited for "allowing" a 17 year old to take the meds. Are there things we could have done? Sure there are, the very first one being sticking to my initial answer of NO. The agency put the child in harm's way to save a few bucks, and we allowed them to do it. We had full say of what child came into our home.

I learned a lot. The main thing was like I said though if it feels like a bad idea, it most likely is. Somehow we allow ourselves to push that aside, and it sounds like the day in question you were feeling like the way things were going was a bad idea. At the end of the day, all we can do is learn from our mistakes and try to move on. Keep your head up!
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  #28  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:00 PM
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Another old thread.

Original post was made in Jan 2013
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  #29  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:06 PM
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OOPs got me again!
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  #30  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:25 PM
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That original story is sad. I work at a center and have worked at a few others. None of the centers I worked allowed children to come in and out without the adults having a attendance sheet. And we have measures in place to be sure children are not left behind. We take attendance every half hour ! When a child leaves or comes into our room we mark it on the attendance role. Every single time. I have the children buddy up when going outside or coming in. If someone doesn't have their buddy I call the office and another employee looks for the child while the children and I wait a few mins. If that child cannot be located the school goes into lockdown ( it has never happened) Sounds like that center was very disorganized and didn't want to be accountable. We are all not like that !
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  #31  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:35 PM
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That original story is sad. I work at a center and have worked at a few others. None of the centers I worked allowed children to come in and out without the adults having a attendance sheet. And we have measures in place to be sure children are not left behind. We take attendance every half hour ! When a child leaves or comes into our room we mark it on the attendance role. Every single time. I have the children buddy up when going outside or coming in. If someone doesn't have their buddy I call the office and another employee looks for the child while the children and I wait a few mins. If that child cannot be located the school goes into lockdown ( it has never happened) Sounds like that center was very disorganized and didn't want to be accountable. We are all not like that !
I don't have as many as a center. 6 max. But all my kids have a number and their place in line. If we are on an outing several times they will line up and count off. They each have to say their number. So if a number doesn't get called out, someone is missing. Luckily that has never happened but six is a much easier number to keep track of.
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  #32  
Old 02-19-2016, 05:36 PM
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The way we do it in our center is the best method I've come across. At major transitions, we move the children from one place to another by calling roll.

For example, today we did it coming in from the playground. My co-teacher stood inside calling roll, and I was outside watching each child come out of line and into the classroom. She called a child's name and then continued to the next. I knew I had not seen the child walk out of the line, but she claimed she'd seen him. We searched the classroom to find him not in there.

Long story short, the child had already left and had been dismissed from the playground by another teacher who'd forgotten to initial him out on the roll sheet.

What I'm saying is its easy to lose track of one out of twenty, and any daycare who doesn't have procedures and fail-safes to keep that from happening is unsafe.
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  #33  
Old 02-20-2016, 04:36 AM
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I'm glad for the resurrection of this thread because it's all too easy to judge a person or situation without knowing details. The drowning death of a 3 yo that happened in my state last week brought so much judgment from the public. People were saying terrible things about the provider, asking how could this happen, and much MUCH worse. I replied to the article saying 'I try not to judge because I wouldn't want the same for myself. I wasn't there so have no clue what happened. I'm sure the pain being felt by all is horrendous and all are in my thoughts.' But while writing that down part of me was thinking How COULD this happen? And maybe that part of my mind was helping me to think of preventing terrible circumstances in my own dc situation. The dcprovider in my state sounded like a wonderful provider, trying to do all the right things, had never had a serious violation, was trying to be a free-range provider. It didn't work out and I feel badly for her as well as the family who lost their son.

The center described in the OP sounds lacking in good organization and all around skills, placing the blame on the workers when they're the responsible party. But then again, I wasn't there.
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  #34  
Old 02-20-2016, 03:13 PM
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Accidentally leaving a child somewhere is something I'm absolutely terrified of. I do a name-to-face count each time we go in/out. I make sure children are signed in as soon as they arrive. I make sure they're signed out as soon as they're picked up. If I have to bump a child to another room, I make sure that's marked on my clipboard.

Additionally, my center will not let anyone work alone in a room for longer than a bathroom break if they are unfamiliar with the children in that room. It's too easy to make mistakes in a room where you don't know the routines or the children or the environment. It's hard enough when you do!

There was an incident at a center I was at a while ago when a teacher (A) forgot to sign a child in. Then another teacher (B) came in to send that teacher (A) elsewhere. Teacher B lined the kids up to take them outside. All the kids who were signed in were in line. The child who wasn't signed in was hiding under a table. The teacher (B) didn't see him and took the class outside without him. It's that easy to make a mistake.

As pointed out so long ago by several others, it's not uncommon to find centers that are over ratios, have inadequately trained staff working alone, and who move kids around so they can send other staff home (so they don't have to pay them anymore than they have to). I've worked in those types of centers and I have no interest in ever going back.
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  #35  
Old 02-26-2016, 04:41 PM
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This thread just reminds me of how much I DON'T miss center work. I have a strong sense of empathy and my heart would break for those "almost old enough" 2 year olds who were thrown into the 3 year old room at the end of the day. They would be overwhelmed and scared, just so the center could save a few bucks.

The end of day shuffling of children and staff was an every single day event. Only now in hindsight do I realize how potentially dangerous this practice was.

I'm sure the op is long gone, but I still want to say no, this was absolutely not solely your fault. I would actually say this is about 95% the center's fault. They fired you to cover their asses and save face.
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  #36  
Old 10-30-2016, 07:11 AM
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I was in a similar situation at a daycare and I unfortunately have legal action taken out against me.
I was alone the day before with 10 2yr olds and on the day of my incident I asked for help.
I got help but that person left without saying anything and it resulted in a child walking out of my class room.
My assumption is that she followed that teacher out because she was crying all day and just wanted her and well I had 9 other kids so if she wanted that teacher I'm not going to be mean I let her stay with her. As we got ready to transition from lunch to nap time a parent walked in ( now at this time the assistant was still in my room) she asked me a question about her children so I went to speak with her. Knowing the other teacher was there I turned my back. At some point during that time the assistant left and I'm assuming the child followed right behind her.
My director came and asked for the child and when I looked behind me to say she was with the assistant that was when I noticed she and the child were gone. My heart sank and it felt like eternity but this all took place in a 5 min time span.
I now have acs on me and I am not permitted to be at work.
I think of it on a teacher position and on a parent position as I am both.
And I cry just thinking about it in every way because if the possibility of anything that could've happened and if I knew the other teacher wasn't there I NEVER WOULD'VE TURNED MY BACK!!!!!!
I am sorry that happened to you and I'm glad you had no legal suit put out on you
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  #37  
Old 10-30-2016, 07:25 PM
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Don't feel bad! My sister worked at a summer camp with school aged children and a kid was left behind during a field trip and was reported to the police by a stranger who saw him trying to cross under a freeway at a busy intersection. My sister wasn't fired because it wasn't her fault, but the school was sued, as they rightly deserved. They were completely un organized and allowed a parent to drop off at the field trip site and did not require that all children be dropped off at school, so my sister and her assistant had the number of children wrong, not realizing the child had been dropped off. I've been in this industry so long and I tell her all the time to let it go, it was not her fault AT ALL. and this was not your fault either.

Sounds like this school is incredibly disorganized. How dare they have a lead teacher double as an administrator and constantly pull her out of her classroom? How dare they leave children with assistants who aren't familiar with them and their schedule? How dare they allow teachers to walk around with students as they please?

Im sorry this happened, but you should let it go. Its not your fault
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  #38  
Old 09-08-2019, 04:09 PM
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I understand your guilt. I was involved with a similar situation, although ours was mostly the result of a miscommunication, rather than such disorganization, but I still feel terrible about it, even though the child was found almost immediately and the parent (another teach from a different room) wasn't even upset once he was found. My blame involved not being specific enough with an aide, who I told could "take him" when she left for the day, as he was my last kid. I meant take him to his mother, but she just let him come out with her and then left him in the hallway with the director--who was not aware he was being left with her, I guess. Either way, it was only the aid's 3rd day, although she had worked there summers before, and she wasn't even 18, yet, so it was 100% my responsibility and I feel bad about it to the point that I am now super paranoid about pick-up, drop-off, and class transitions for fear a child will slip out. Especially when I am in a room alone, this would put me in the position of either letting them run, or leaving my other children unattended in a classroom.

Last edited by Michael; 09-08-2019 at 06:12 PM.
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  #39  
Old 09-09-2019, 05:15 AM
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I understand your guilt. I was involved with a similar situation, although ours was mostly the result of a miscommunication, rather than such disorganization, but I still feel terrible about it, even though the child was found almost immediately and the parent (another teach from a different room) wasn't even upset once he was found. My blame involved not being specific enough with an aide, who I told could "take him" when she left for the day, as he was my last kid. I meant take him to his mother, but she just let him come out with her and then left him in the hallway with the director--who was not aware he was being left with her, I guess. Either way, it was only the aid's 3rd day, although she had worked there summers before, and she wasn't even 18, yet, so it was 100% my responsibility and I feel bad about it to the point that I am now super paranoid about pick-up, drop-off, and class transitions for fear a child will slip out. Especially when I am in a room alone, this would put me in the position of either letting them run, or leaving my other children unattended in a classroom.
I remember those centre days. The never ending counting and recounting kids. Its why I hate taking my current kids to the park even though I only have 5. Too stressful.
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  #40  
Old 09-10-2019, 03:58 AM
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I work in a large center and I am always counting heads especially after transitions. When all the classes are out on the playground we have a chalkboard to write down the names of the children who are being taken inside for potty/drink breaks and which teachers take them. In addition to counting heads I even do a roll call sometimes. Yes, itís stressful and yes, itís time consuming but I donít want to chance losing a child even for a moment. I once had a teenage aide take one of my kids in for a drink of water and forgot to write her name on the chalkboard ( or even write that she was taking some kids in the building) and when her grandmother came I didnít know where she was but fortunately another teacher had seen K. taking her in.
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