A mother says her 2-year-old daughter is traumatized after being locked alone inside a dark daycare center in South Florida.
When Stephanie Martinez went to pick up her daughter Wednesday, the daycare was closed for the day and there were no cars in the parking lot.
She called her friend Samantha Scaramellino who is her daughter’s emergency contact.
“I’m like, ‘Steph, call the police.’ You know, like I don’t have her,” Scaramellino said.
Martinez, terrified, started banging on all the windows. She said her daughter pushed a chair next to the door and started calling for her.
“That was the only reason I was able to see her is because she’s shorter than the door,” Martinez explained. “She got on the chair to say, ‘Mommy!’”
Martinez called 911 and fire rescue responded to pry open the daycare’s doors and get the 2-year-old out.
“What if she fell off the table? What if, you know she used a chair to get by the door. She’s traumatized. Last night I couldn’t turn off the light. She started crying,” Martinez said.
The daycare center told Martinez the facility is short staffed, but Martinez says that’s not an excuse.
The facility released the following statement which says DCF has been notified and reads in part:
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.