Billings daycare had history of problems before a baby was locked inside last week

Posted at 10:20 AM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 12:20:44-05

BILLINGS – Since 2007, eight complaints have been filed with the Montana Department of Health & Human Services against Kids ‘R’ Us, a Billings daycare center where a 6-month-old baby was recently locked alone inside.

The latest complaint to hit Kids ‘R’ Us at 606 Nottingham Circle was from a mother who arrived at the facility Friday evening to pick up her child, only to find it closed with her child inside. The incident lit up on social media.

In 2015, Kids ‘R’ Us received several complaints in one report, according to DPHHS.

Complaints filed against Kids 'R' Us
Complaints filed against Kids ‘R’ Us

In that case, it was determined there weren’t enough caregivers for the number of children being cared for, and sometimes children were left unattended. The report also stated that caregivers used humiliation, shaming, and fright when disciplining a 6-year-old child.

Some caregivers said they didn’t have adequate training or knowledge to work with a special needs child, even though they’re accepted at the facility.

Medication was also not properly stored, and some employees did not know how to administer it.

That same complaint also said infants were left in dangerous sleeping situations or were not given enough opportunities to sleep during their time at the center.

In addition, there wasn’t a baby monitor in the facility’s nap room, and babies were left unattended in that area.

The Kids R’ Us daycare’s license was renewed in March, according to the health department.

Billings police told MTN News that this latest case has been forwarded to Child Protective Services.

MTN News has attempted to contact Kids ‘R’ Us, but they have not yet responded.

We will update you if we get more information.

(NOVEMBER 5) Tanaya Merchen said that when she went to pick up her 6-month-old son Avery at the Kids R US daycare on Friday, the building was dark and the door was locked.

Merchen quickly called Kids R US and spoke with someone from the daycare who came back to unlock the building and get Avery out.

“It’s very scary. The guilt that I’m feeling right now for leaving my child in the care of somebody else, that did not care at all for my child,” said Merchen.

She continued, “I can’t even tell you, it’s overwhelming at this point. I could not put him down last night. I mean, that’s all I could do is just sit there and so thankful that nothing bad happened to him during that situation.”

Merchen has called the Billings police and plans to contact other agencies.

MTN News spoke with an employee of Kids R US who was working Friday evening and confirmed this did happen, but the employee would not comment further.