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BILLINGS, Mont. - A Montana woman is angry after she said her 6-month-old son was left unattended at a Billings day care center last week, KULR reported.
When Tanaya Merchen went to pick up her child Friday, the Kids "R" Us Childcare Center was locked and the lights were off. There did not appear to be any supervision inside the building, the television station reported.
"I get out of the truck and I go to open the door, and it was locked," Merchen said. "So it was instant panic, like I had no idea what the situation was, I just knew I couldn't get in there, and I knew nobody else picked my baby up, so I was very confused,” Merchen told KULR. “I called the director lady -- the one I communicate with the most. She answers and instantly she already knew. She told me, she said, 'I am so mad. I am almost there.'"
Day care center owner Kim Redding told KULR there had been a miscommunication among staff members.
"She (one employee) didn't know the staff said all the kids had gone. She said you guys go ahead and go and I'll vacuum," Redding told the television station. "We can't change that mistake. The only thing we can do is put forward more extra caution."
The day care center has been cited for several violations, according to files in the records of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service. In April 2014, Montana’s Child Care Licensing department found the provider did not have a daily attendance record that was accurate. Eighteen children were present, but only three were signed in, KULR reported. That same year, CCL found that 18 children, including four infants, were in the care of one unapproved caregiver.
In June 2017, eight children were found in the care of one caregiver, the television station reported. According to CCL, there should be at least two caregivers when there are more than six children present.
Merchen remains confused and angry.
"I mean, at this point, I would definitely recommend nobody ever take their child there," Merchen told KULR.