2 hours written by Maeve Ashbrook
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE)-A Mulvane mother requests change at a local child care center after she says staff let her 5-year-old daughter leave without her parents present.
The incident occurred on Monday 23 January. Kayla Armstrong said her daughter walked miles through Mulvane while no one knew where she was.
“He’s only five,” Armstrong said. “She ended up crossing a major highway, Rock Road, and she was quite busy at the time. I’m just thankful she wasn’t hurt.
Armstrong sent her daughter to the Mulvane Recreation Commission child welfare program. She said staff let her 5-year-old leave for the day on Monday without a parent there to pick her up.
“In the video, it clearly showed that they said my daughter’s first and last name, and there were two staff members in the hallway who had observed her getting ready and walking out the door,” she said.
Armstrong said a woman, a teacher at her daughter’s school, finally found the girl and called her nearly an hour later. MRC Executive Director Ticia Herd said a miscommunication between two staff members led to the incident.
The herd was not at work at the time.
“We had a failure in the processes, clearly, and I can’t necessarily explain how that happened other than that it was a failure,” Herd said.
One of those staff members was the youth program director. That woman no longer works at the MRC.
“He was responsible for making sure policies and procedures were in place and being followed, and I don’t think he did,” Herd said.
Herd said current MRC policy allows parents to collect their children at the door of the facility or stay in the car so a member of staff can drive students to them. You said that none of these actions took place.
“I’m a parent, I can’t imagine how he feels,” Herd said. “I can’t imagine how she felt at that moment. The fact that her daughter has not been watched is terrifying for me, for all my staff, and we are very sorry ”.
Herd said the MRC was now looking into changing its safety procedures, including requiring parents to sign their children out the door. She said she is planning a meeting to review this with the parents of her 120 children.
“Parents need to be aware of what really happened so they understand how flawed they are with their safety procedures, and I pray that the MRC really work on those, take steps to ensure this actually happens,” he said. said Armstrong.
The Mulvane Police Department and the Kansas Department of Health and the Environment are investigating the incident. The MRC Childcare Center is licensed through the KDHE.