Now, it should be noted that the child in question is fine. Totally safe, back with his parents, seems to have gotten through his brief time stranded in a public park without incident. So that’s wonderful news. But also, what on earth?
Of all the problems in this world that it works to throw money at (all of them?), it seems like quality child care should be an obvious one, but DNAinfo is here with a friendly reminder that that isn’t always the case, as evidenced by a terrifying incident last week in which the Williamsburg Northside Infant and Toddler center lost track of one of its very-young charges in East River State Park. What happened, apparently, was that teachers miscounted the number of kids in their charge and returned from a trip to the park without one of them, only realizing the mistake when his parents came to pick him up and they didn’t have a child to hand over. Luckily a “random person” found the kid in question and safely returned him to the school.
The program, located in the Edge condo building, has temporarily had its license revoked, and has already fired both teachers responsible for the mishap. “Our number one priority is the safety of our children. We have very clear procedures to prevent this kind of situation and have never had an incident like this in over 13 years of operation,” said a spokesperson for the school. “We have apologized deeply to the parents. We have also temporarily closed the Infant and Toddler Center to review policies, procedures and teacher training.”
Well, yeeeowch. Tempting to make jokes about a daycare center based in the Edge, but really, even as a non-parent, I can’t think of a whole lot of things in this world more gut-level horrifying than having a kid, and at any point dangerously losing track of said kid in a public place. Anyway, longtime clients are defending this as an unfortunate, flukey one-off, while another local parent told DNAinfo, “To me this [incident] means the people who are supposed to care for [the kids] aren’t emotionally attached to the babies.” Glad this worked out, keep an eye on your kids, etc. etc.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.