Finding a reliable and loving daycare for your child is a complicated process. Often, the only tangible evidence a worried mother has to go on are obscure references (if she's lucky) and blind confidence in the provider's ability to “serve and protect” without a formal education. With babysitters busted for posting kids on Snapchat and daycare horror stories in the news all the time, it can be nerve-wracking for parents.
Even so, many child care facilities unwittingly hire the wrong people and, according to one enraged mother, the day care she took her daughter to in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb outside of St. Louis, is one of them.
In a recent Facebook post, Elysha Brooks shared disturbing details and graphic images of her 4-year-old daughter who had been duct-taped to a plastic chair and exploited on Snapchat. Also included was a photo of a tiny rock that administrators had found inside of the child's ear months prior, but neglected to report.
"One of her teachers DuctTaped her to a Chair and posted her on [Snapchat]. Received a call from a hotline and they sent me this pic of my baby," she wrote. "This incident supposedly happened in March and the daycare still fail to inform us of the situation. Also failed to document a incident of a rock being lodged in my baby ear that almost damaged her eardrum ..."
Aside from an open investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services, there have been no formal charges filed against the facility or the caregiver (and I use that term loosely) accused of doing these horrible things. Christian Evans, the girl's father, did not hold back when asked about the incident by local media:
"Seeing your child duct-taped to a chair, seeing the anxiety, seeing how scared your kid is, knowing for one that you're there to protect them and knowing for two that you have people around that would stoop to that level to hurt your child puts you in a crazy mind state."
Stories like these—tales of abuse at the hands of people we trust—are hard for parents to wrap their heads around. We want so badly to believe that no one would ever harm a child, but it happens often, and we hear about it all the time. Still, since we can’t be everywhere all the time for our kids, at some point, we must let go and have faith in the unknown, even if it’s only for an hour.
But how do we do this, knowing what can happen?
Before you throw your hands in the air and give up on the human race altogether, take a moment to weigh your options and research what's available in your area. I promise, there are good providers out there that will take exceptional care of your child; it just may take some time (and a lot of extra work) before locking in on the right one.