A Florida daycare is in hot water after a distraught mother filed an administrative complaint after her 7-month-old baby was handed over to a stranger by a staffer.
The Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing Office seeks to revoke Orient Road Child Development Center’s license to operate over the complaint, WFTS Tampa Bay News reported.
The mother, Trinity McCoggle, called 911 on January 25 after she arrived at the center to pick up her son, Adonis, who was not there.
McCoggle said that the staffer “went to the back to get him, and when she came back, she said, ‘He’s not here.’ I said, ‘What do you mean he is not here?’”
The baby had been given to another person who arrived at the facility earlier.
On the 911 call, McCoggle is heard screaming that her baby is missing.
The licensing office later confirmed that Adonis was handed over to a stranger who didn’t provide proper identification.
Within an hour, the stranger—a woman—who picked up Adonis returned him to the daycare. Trinity and deputies were there waiting.
Danice Donaldson, the owner of the daycare, responded to I-Team Investigator Jackie Callaway’s message, saying, “This child was the last child in the room, and when the elderly family member came, she pointed and said she came to pick up her grandson. The teacher who released the child never asked for ID as she assumed that she was the parent (family member or guardian).”
However, an investigation into the daycare revealed this wasn’t the first time it had misplaced a child, I-Team reported after reviewing county records over the last four years.
One incident involved a 4-year-old girl left inside a broken-down van. When the child woke up alone, she left the van and wandered inside a nearby building. Someone at the location called the sheriff’s office.
The licensing office cited the daycare with three class-one violations. The most serious violation was for leaving the child inside the van. The daycare was also hit with a $750 fine.
McCoggle said if she had known about the daycare’s previous violation, she “would have never taken my baby there.”
A year later, in 2018, two center inspections found several violations, including staff-to-children ratio issues.
The news outlet interviewed Child Care Licensing Manager Lisa Bragano earlier this month and was told that the center received another class one violation over what recently happened to 7-month-old Adonis.
A spokesperson for the county said that regulators conducted “a complete review of this incident and the facility’s compliance history, it was determined that revocation of the license is the appropriate action to take at this time.”
The attorney representing the daycare said that his client plans to appeal the county’s decision. The daycare has 15 days to respond to the administrative complaint that seeks to revoke its license.