This letter is written to inform you that, as of October 14, I have reported Fort Knox Child Development Center to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The incident on October 12 was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I requested a phone call from you after the incident on October 12 and again the morning of October 13. My husband appreciates you having Ms. Clay call the morning of October 13, however she indicated that you would be calling either me or him before the end of the day. We never received that phone call. As of the writing of this letter, we still have not heard from you.
If you are not aware of the situation of which I speak, I’m including the details below.
At approximately 5:50pm I arrived at the CDC to see if my daughter, Kiddo, was still there, since my husband wasn’t reachable by phone. Cecilia Brownell, the employee at the hourly care front desk, confirmed that she had been picked up at 5:44pm. I thanked her and headed home. Upon arriving home, my husband asked where Kiddo was, throwing us both in a panic. I drove back to CDC and sternly informed Ms. Brownell that Kiddo indeed was not with one of us. While she checked the computer, I ran back to Kiddo’s room (103) and found it empty and dark. I rushed back to the front desk and on my way noticed Kiddo standing with another child, holding Ms. Clay’s hand. I received little to no information about what happened, other than Ms. Brownell telling me that the computer showed Kiddo as checked out. I left my name and number and asked for a phone call from you.
On Thursday morning, I spoke with Taira Rauch. I informed her of the events of October 12 and asked who it was that checked Kiddo out of the system and why. She explained that, when switching buildings, children are checked out of one and should be checked into the other. She did not tell me who it was that checked her out of the system.
- Who checked her out of the system? Why wasn’t I given that person’s name the moment I asked the lady at the front desk?
- If you have uniquely identifiable swipe cards given to everyone who uses your service, do you link those to names in your system for tracking? If you do link them to names, why don’t you readily share that information?
While the worst did not happen – and I am thankful for that – the possibility of it happening is still much too high for my comfort level. As I indicated at the beginning of this letter, this was the last in a series of events, those of which I did bring to your attention and the attention of Ms. Brownell, and have seen no action taken. What I’m referring to is my husband picking up Kiddo several times without swiping his card or signing her out. At first it was by mistake, as he was not aware this was required. I spoke with Ms. Brownell shortly after this was brought to my attention, and the most she could give me was an assurance that she would be more diligent in watching visitors as they come and go. But after experiencing what happened on October 12 coupled with what my husband was able to do, the fact that this is possible raises a red flag.
- If my husband didn’t sign in and didn’t swipe his card, why was he allowed to take her?
- If no one swiped a card when picking Kiddo up, why wasn’t I notified at my next swipe that Kiddo had not been signed out the previous day?
- Why do you not have someone posted at the door to verify everyone swipes their card?
Due to being located on an army base, the CDC offers a false sense of security. I find the nonchalant behavior of those who assisted me during the events of October 12 unacceptable. My daughter will, without question, approach anyone in military ACUs. If she – a child your caregivers have called antisocial – does this, then I could guarantee that there are other children who would do this as well. The security at the building is not what it should be. As my husband puts it, “you need to have someone watching the front door like a greeter at Wal-Mart, making eye contact with everyone, checking that they have a card to swipe.” There seems to be no accountability. There have been times when there has been no one at the front desk, no one checking cards, and no one verifying that kids are being signed in and out. I understand that caregivers are trying to do just that: give care. But, there needs to be some kind of system in place to insure that your security measures are successful! Otherwise, the next time a situation like the one I experienced occurs, it may not be just due to a lax in building transfer procedures.
- If you have a computer system in place and you use swipe cards for security purposes, then use them to their fullest extent!
- Link swipe cards to names and have that information linked to the security agreements parents sign, so that you can verify that an officially approved person is transporting that child.
- Use the system to track the location of the child at all times. Track who has dropped the child off at all times. Track who has picked her up at all times.
- If there is no check-in, notify the parent(s). If there is no check-out, notify the parent(s).
- Check at the end of the day that all children have been properly exited from the system.
- On the arrival the next day, inform parents that a proper checkout procedure wasn’t followed!
Your staff seems to have become lazy in their duty and caused a panic that should never have happened. If your system had been used properly, this situation could have been avoided completely. The swipe system should make all information readily available to staff and parents at the moment it is needed. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you truly care about the safety of your children and the integrity of your daycare, then please take these suggestions and this situation under serious scrutiny.