ARLINGTON, TX (08/13/2015) — Arlington police say that workers at Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy daycare center left 5-year-old Leonardo Moncada behind at AT&T Stadium for hours on Thursday.
A group of about 40 kids from Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy were taken to AT&T Stadium on Thursday to participate in “Kids Day,” an event which brought around 2,000 children from DFW-area daycare centers and schools to the home of the Dallas Cowboys for a day of fun.
According to the Arlington Police Department, five-year-old Leonardo Moncada had become separated from his group, and workers at Jeanette’s Little Haven daycare failed to notice that the child was missing before returning to the day care center.
Stadium security allegedly found Moncada alone, walking around the football field at around 5:00 p.m. Shortly after, officers from Arlington PD comforted the child and brought him to police headquarters. Moncada was reunited with his mother, Erica Corbin, about three hours later.
According to the child’s mother, she was not made aware of the situation until she showed up at Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy and realized that her son was missing. “I went to pick him up and when I went into [the] room where he normally is, I didn’t see him,” said Corbin. “If I had not showed up at that time looking for him, there’s no telling how long he would have been lost.”
According to Sgt. Christopher Cook, the daycare facility had also failed to contact Arlington police about the incident as of 7:00 p.m. that night. “What’s unusual is the fact that we haven’t received a phone call yet,” said Cook. “We’re almost two and a half hours into the call.”
“I don’t, I honestly don’t know what to say. I’m just happy I have him back because it could have been a lot worse,” Corbin later said.
“He could have been taken by someone; he could have found his way out of the stadium and no one would have known where he came from,” said Erica Corbin. She withdrew her son from Jeanette’s Little Haven Christian Academy this morning.
NBC 5 was able to contact Jeannette Jones, the owner of Jeannette’s Little Haven Daycare for comment. “I am devastated by this, I admit this was a horrible mistake and I’m so thankful Leonardo is safe. I’ve been in the child care business 25 years and nothing, nothing, nothing like this has ever happened before,” said Jones. “This was a shocking mistake and I can promise you heads will roll.”
The daycare facility is expected to deliver an on-camera statement regarding the incident later this afternoon.
How on earth was this allowed to occur? While I’m relieved that the child was unhurt, I’m outraged by the lack of response by the negligent daycare facility. No one called the mother before she arrived to pick up her child? No one called the police after (at least) two hours had passed? Did the daycare facility seriously only realize that the child was unaccounted for when his mother arrived to pick him up?
I can only hope that this event serves as a lesson to other daycare facilities on the importance of properly supervising the children in their care. Daycare workers have a responsibility to keep these children safe and supervised, and measures should have been put in place to prevent such a serious mistake from ever occurring.