PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – A South Florida daycare center has issued a statement after a 2-year-old girl was left all alone inside the building after it closed on Wednesday night.
According to a KinderCare spokesperson, "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children in our care. While we're thankful the child was quickly found and was safe, this incident should not have happened."
According to close family friend Samantha Scaramellino, who posted about the incident on her Facebook page, the girl's mother Stephanie Martinez, went to pick up her daughter from the KinderCare Child Care Center on Sunrise and Nob Hill in Plantation only to find "the building closed with lights turned off and all."
Martinez walked around the building "banging on all the windows and after a while, in the pitch-black room she sees her face emerge."
She had to call 911.
The Plantation Police incident report states the "Plantation Fire Department forced entry without breaking the door. They just caused pry marks."
The child was recovered safely and "was not in distress."
The rest of the KinderCare statement reads: "We take all concerns about children's safety seriously and follow a specific protocol anytime an issue is raised. Part of that protocol includes notifying our agency partners, like state licensing and Child Protective Services, as we did in this case. We also placed the staff members involved on administrative leave while we, and our agency partners, look into the concern further.
As these investigations take place, we'll also take immediate steps to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen again. All of our teachers and staff will be retrained on proper child supervision. They'll also receive additional training on childcare best practices as part of the curriculum we already had planned for all teachers and staff at our centers across the country for Professional Development Day on Monday."
The police incident report states the last two people in the building were the Assistant Director Nichole Burrillo and teacher Lucilena Viggiano.
"They both checked inside of the school and locked all doors." It also says Burrillo was in charge of using a tablet to check out all of the children. Both left at 6:20 p.m. and Martinez arrived 8 minutes later. Martinez said she never received a call from the school to pick up her daughter.
The business closes at 6:00 p.m. but stay opens for parents who regularly pick up kids late, according to the report.
BSO Child Protection Investigative Services will launch an investigation.
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