Police rescue toddler left alone in locked childcare centre

A father arrived to pick up his son from a Blue Mountains childcare centre yesterday to find staff had left for the day and accidentally locked the toddler inside.

Despite the incident, the one-year-old’s parents say they will continue to send their son to the centre for care.

The father arrived at the Little Smarts daycare in Blaxland, NSW before closing time to find the doors locked. He phoned police who forced their way inside, finding the one-year-old asleep in an air-conditioned room. He was unharmed but was treated by paramedics at the scene as a precaution.

The owner of the centre tells Seven News a “miscommunication” had caused the incident, but more checks would now be considered to avoid it happening again. The child had been left alone for 20 minutes.

Little Smarties Blaxland

Media reports initially said the family, who do not wish to be identified, were “happy” to keep their child at the centre despite the mix-up, but the boy’s mother tells Babyology that they have not yet made up their minds.

“We were obviously traumatised by the events on Monday afternoon. We have made no decision about continuing childcare,” she says.

“We do not wish to seek further action against the Centre. I can assure you that the day care staff are suffering enough after this. Thank god our baby is safe.”

 

Nesha O’Neill, of the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW, says there is always going to be human error involved in incidents like this.

“We have very strong regulations in place that are designed to prevent this happening, and given the amount of children in care… it’s very, very rare,” she tells Seven News.

Police will not take any further action because the child was not injured, but the Department of Education will investigate.

A childcare centre in Mornington, Victoria, was investigated last year after a 14-month-old boy was left locked inside when staff left for the day.

The Beach Babies Centre sacked two staff members over the incident.

(via Seven News)

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