On a cold day in Minnesota, a woman saw a toddler without a coat standing alone behind a daycare center. However, once the police took a look inside the childcare center, they discovered the disturbing reason the child was in such a dangerous situation.
During a particularly frigid day, a concerned citizen noticed something odd in the snow behind KinderCare Learning Center in Eagan, Minnesota. Upon closer inspection, they realized that the small figure was a 4-year-old girl standing all by herself outside in the snow and plummeting temperatures. Most disturbingly, the little one wasn’t even wearing a coat.
When a parent enrolls their child at a daycare, they expect the workers to tend to their little one as if they were their own flesh and blood. Unfortunately, when you invite other human beings to care for your offspring, you might just be handing them over to someone with a twisted concept of discipline.
Fearing for the child’s life as the little girl was completely exposed to the sub-zero climate, the witness immediately called the police, who raced over to check on the toddler. Incredibly, the child was okay. However, the girl’s situation was merely a symptom of what was lurking within the walls of KinderCare Learning Center.
According to KMSP, Eagan police quickly discovered that the toddler was purposefully exposed to the deadly elements without a coat as discipline for disrupting the class. Investigators confirmed that the child was forced to stand outside alone in the 3-degree cold, which had a real feel of -9 degrees, because she had annoyed the workers with her yelling.
Investigators aren’t certain how long the toddler was outside but reiterated that she couldn’t have been exposed for long since she suffered no injuries from the cold. Thankfully, the anonymous tipper had spotted the child just in time, allowing authorities to get to her before she succumbed to hypothermia, frostbite, or worse.
“Punishing a child by putting them outside in single digit temperatures is obviously not ok. So that’s what we are trying to determine if that’s what happened,” said Officer Aaron Machtemes of the Eagan Police Department.
Officers questioned staff members to determine whether such actions were commonplace at the daycare center. Some of the workers admitted that they regularly give children time outs but not outside in freezing temperatures. The search continued for the individuals responsible for placing the exposed child in the cold.
“It all depends on circumstances of how out of control the child was. Why the child was taken outside in the first place. How long the child was outside. All those factors would go into whether or not there is a criminal charge,” Machtemes said.
Investigators confirmed that the child’s parents have been notified of their daughter’s neglect and abuse. Authorities spoke with them in an effort to find out if they were aware of this form of discipline and whether it was routinely carried out.
Understandably, other parents whose children attend KinderCare Learning Center were upset to hear that a very young child was punished by being forced to stand outside in the elements. Still, many of the details weren’t disclosed as the investigation continued.
“I don’t believe anyone here would discipline a child like that or that that is how a child should be disciplined in anyway. Anywhere,” said a parent whose child attends KinderCare Learning Center.
The State Department of Human Services was involved in the police investigation of the daycare. Privacy laws have prevented the department from divulging information until the investigation concluded. Of course, possible charges such as failure to supervise a child, neglect, and abuse were all considered for those involved.
The case is a nightmare for any parent who puts their child into daycare. However, it is a reality for far too many who find the need to trust complete strangers with their precious cargo.