Toddler locked in at day care

2012-03-01 10:31

Potchefstroom - A 20-month-old toddler was locked in at an after care centre late on Monday afternoon after staff left for the day thinking the place was empty.

Little HJ Mostert’s father, Herman Mostert, told on Wednesday how his son became "hysterical" in the dark day care centre where curtains had been drawn.

"I tried to comfort him from outside the day care centre while the alarm was sounding."

Mostert said he was at the Pro Care day centre at 17:15 to pick up HJ but it had already been locked up. He called his wife, Rentia, to hear if she had picked up HJ.

"She said no, he has to be at the school."

Mostert meanwhile heard crying from inside and realised it was HJ.

After the centre owner was called, a staff member only arrived at 17:50 to unlock the doors, said Mostert. "HJ was drenched in sweat".

Care centre owner Trudie Klynveld said on Wednesday Mostert had called her at 17:26. "I immediately called a staff member to open up. Our alarm was deactivated at 17:34.

"It was a big mistake about which we feel terrible. We have already apologised to the parents. I've run the centre for seven years and this has never happened before, but we will implement (additional) measures to prevent it from happening again."

Klynveld was on maternity leave but from conversations with staff members learnt that HJ, carrying his bag, had on Monday afternoon slipped into the baby room with another mother and one of the staff members without being seen. All the other babies had already left for the day.

The two women did not see HJ and then pulled the door shut behind them as they left.

The day care centre usually closed at 17:00, said Klynveld.

Usually each class teacher monitored their children's comings and goings, but one staff member was responsible for children who were picked up late.

"HJ's bag was no longer there and she thought he'd already left. She locked up and activated the alarm."

Klynveld said the staff member had been given a warning.

Mostert had already put HJ into another day care centre. "They can't simply assume a child's parents came to fetch him. What if he had been walking in the street?"

  • Zubair - 2012-03-01 10:41

    I've gone cold just reading this. I can just imagine the poor child. Parents also need to take responibilty here. The place closes @ 17:00 but they pitched @ 17:15. Not good enough when you are a parent. Did they call the scholl to say 'I'm running late?'

      Laura - 2012-03-01 10:46

      Completely agree,even a minute late you call!!!

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-03-01 10:59

      Whilst I agree, what reasonable day care centre closes at 17:00??? MOst people work until at least 17:00 to 17:30, so how are they supposed to get their by then?? Think the creche should implement a register, which parents are required to sign on fetching their children. That way, the creche would know if all kids have been fetched.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 11:28

      Daycares charge a late fee if parents are later than x number of minutes. There is no excuse for this. It was 15 minutes for heavens sake,not 4 hours. Believe it or not there are some parents who do not fetch their kids until 7 or 8 at night in many instances and sometimes the staff end up taking the kids home with them until those parents can get their useless butts to fetch the kids. But 15 minutes is a very different story.

      Michelle - 2012-03-01 11:45

      I think the point is that the daycare closes at 5pm and the child had taken his bag and gone into another room SO when it came to closing, no bags were there so it was assumed the child had left. Unless there is only one person on duty, someone else could have seen the child off. The parents are fully responsible. If you closing time is 5 and everyone is aware of it even 10min without a call is rude and inconsiderate.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 11:57

      @Michelle... did you miss the bit that stated the toddler had entered that room with another mother and teacher. How do they know that if they never saw him?

      Michelle - 2012-03-01 12:17

      No Marion I did not miss that bit. I do however assume that there are more than one employee at the daycare and the person who locked up was not necessarily the one and the same. It was an honest mistake which granted could have had serious results; just factor in that - 1) the bag was gone, 2) it was after 5 SO they thought he had gone home. It does not excuse what has happened - some comments are making it sound like he was locked in because they didn't care.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 12:27

      Actually, Michelle, I think we should just stop with this back and forth on this issue because it is obvious that neither one of us is going to change our opinion.

      Ja - 2012-03-01 13:03

      Hey carry on .. I dig it when chick's fight ..

      marnusmnorval - 2012-03-01 13:32

      Actually I call the father a whiny fairy.. If it was my child and I couldnt get him out I would have broken a window to get to him. If your child is in danger. You do what ever you can to help him.. "I tried to keep him calm through the window" PATHETIC

      Janice - 2012-03-01 14:41

      Accidents happen, and it doesnt sound at all like the owner is a monster...

      Kim - 2012-03-01 19:00

      I would never wait 10 minutes if my child was locked in a school. Break a window or door down. Not my problem.

      Caryn - 2012-03-02 08:50

      perhaps there was complete burglar proofing and the father couldnt get in. I got locked out of my own house and had to get a friend to bring and angle grinder so I could cut the burglar bars out. Regardless, this could have been fatal! Yes, accidents happen but this is unacceptable. How would you feel if it were your child? i would be equally horrified, angry and would change schools. if this could have happened without anyone noticing, he could have been kidnapped too if they are that slack!

      pyburnsh - 2012-03-02 17:15

      I know the parents and they have a special arrangement for the child to be collected after 5. There are 4 children at Pro-Care that get picked up after 5 and HJ is one of them.

  • Jou - 2012-03-01 10:42

    Staff member.....and well one need not say much more....

  • Dennis - 2012-03-01 10:45

    I live next to a day care centre and let me tell you parents - you have no idea how your kids are treated !!!!

      Chez - 2012-03-01 10:55

      Oh Jeez, thanks for that!! I hope you don't live next to the one my grandchild goes to!!!

      Madalo - 2012-03-01 11:01

      i think it is not good to wait for something terrible to happen to a poor child then you start informing the parents of how their kids are being treated! same time you see and have evidence of bad treatment on kids you report immediately

      Marion - 2012-03-01 11:30

      If the kids are being treated badly I would say you should let the department of whatever know so that they can investigate. Obviously do it anonymously.

      Joan - 2012-03-01 17:25

      Then report what you see or hear Deeteem. These are babies!!!!! They look to grownups to protect them.

      asteyn - 2012-03-01 18:40

      I hope they sue the living crap out of the place. No matter how sorry you are afterwards - No Excuses - ever!

      Lee - 2012-03-02 16:53

      What a great comment Deeteem, By doing nothing makes you just as bad. So thanks for that input. I hope you sleep well at night knowing what you know. And people give you thumbs up for that comment. Quite clearly sickos aswell.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-03-01 10:50

    how do you lock a creche and not check that everyone has gone

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 10:56

      One time in seven years. Not a bad record.

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 10:56

      I mean, it's not like someone died.

      koo.doyle - 2012-03-01 11:15

      I'm with Vaal on this one. It doesn't sound like negligence, just an honest mistake. A bit of storm in a teacup. The parents also should not have rocked up 15 minutes late.

      Elize - 2012-03-01 11:33

      @Vaal-Donkie once in seven years is too much!! They should know every second of the day where every child is, have you any idea how many things can happen to a 20 month old toddler if left alone for one second?? I would remove my child from that daycare immediately!!

      Michelle - 2012-03-01 11:48

      Elize, I don't think you would find ONE daycare where mishaps don't happen ~ most of the time the parents just don't find out about them. Also remember that these mishaps can happen just as easily if the child is in the mothers care.

      ina.f.chatwind - 2012-03-01 12:18

      @ Elize. I am in total agreement about mishaps happening also in mothers care but I reared 4 children and never locked them in a place and left.

      Stacey - 2012-03-01 15:37

      @Elize - Not even a mother can watch her child every second of every day... SO if something happens to a child while in mother's care - should they be removed from the mother as well??

  • mike.bester1 - 2012-03-01 10:53


  • Bronwyn - 2012-03-01 10:56

    Horrifying!!! We have to sign our children out everyday and every room, bathroom, etc is checked before the last person leaves. That is complete incompetence and unacceptable, I would do my nut!!

      Mark - 2012-03-01 11:03

      I also do my nut with parents who use their child's photo as a Facebook avatar for their own account.

  • Whispers4life - 2012-03-01 11:00

    I would say honest mistake but even then if you close at 5 surely staff should stay another half hour for any reason there might be.

      taitminx - 2012-03-01 12:39

      Whispers4life employers dont want to pay overtime so there is no way i am going to stay for an extra 30mins while my kid needs to be picked up as well.

      Juan - 2012-03-01 17:08

      What kind of creche closes at 17h00 anyway, many parents can only leave work at that time.

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-03-02 13:09

      Taitminx (WTF kind of name is that?!?!) if you are the kind of person who is concerned over overtime, you should stick to packing shelves for checkers. what a lame excuse.

  • Dianne - 2012-03-01 11:02

    My skin is crawling ! Don't these idiot who look after our children and grandchildren keep a register of the childrens daily arrivals and departures? How would they know if a child went missing or was taken by some creep if they are not observant? This is unacceptable and shocking. Regardless of whether the parents phoned to say they would be a bit late or not this is still an unforgivable oversight on the schools part!

      Laura - 2012-03-01 11:10

      'Idiots'..'unforgivable'..goodness! the parents are as much to blame,and its not like the school did it on purpose.Much worse things have happened in daycares.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 11:32

      @Laura... it astounds me that people here are blaming the parents for being a massive 15 minutes late to pick up the child. Whilst the child is in the care of the creche they are 100% responsible for its well being even if the parents do not arrive at all to fetch said child. Talk about clock watchers!!

      Marion - 2012-03-01 12:00

      @Michelle .... since when is the presence or absence of a bag criteria for knowing whether a child is in the creche or not? My son was in various creches / kindergartens / aftercare from the time he was 3 months old and when he was collected we had to tell the staff that we had arrived and were taking him.

      Dianne - 2012-03-01 12:19

      @Laura - If the school was responsible and kept a daily attendance register this would not have happened as they would have seen that the child had not been signed out. We pay daycare a load of money to look after our kids - the onus is on them to be more responsible. What is a parent to do if perhaps they are having network problems, as frequently happens, and are unable to reach the daycare to advise they will be late? The fact that the school did not do it on purpose is irrelevant.....

      Dianne - 2012-03-01 12:24

      @Marion..... I agree Marion. Not all kids take a bag to nursery school anyway. At my granddaughters creche we have to sign her in ever morning and when we fetch her we have to sign her out which I think is very responsible of the creche.

      Angela - 2012-03-01 14:22

      Just to throw something else in the mix : Surely there should be a register by LAW ?? What if a fire broke out (God forbid) - how would they know how to account for each child. I know in old age homes you have to have a register and all staff are grilled that this is the responsibility of certain people to get this book so as to see who could still be in the building. Sound like a very negligent bunch - and if it was my Grand-son in side I would have done everything in my power to break into the building to get to him. Everything and anything.

      Stacey - 2012-03-01 15:45

      @Marion... it's not about being a clock watcher. Parents should take responsibility as well. It's considered child abuse/neglect if a parent arrives 15 minutes late when knowing full well that the school closes at 5pm. If he had phoned to say he was running late and on his way then this wouldn't have happened. And don't you think the staff/teachers have a life too? Families to go home to? Children to collect?

      Laura - 2012-03-01 19:46

      @Marion and Hemlock.what I'm saying that no massive harm was done.As parents and caregivers we all make mistakes, we are human after all...I agree that some are unforgivable.but this is not one of them.clearly the daycare know they did wrong....did they once blame the parents???NO!

      annemari.siebrits - 2012-03-02 11:48

      Stacey...have you ever been stuck in traffic? My grandchild is also in a creche that close at 6pm at night. Coming from town it can take you sometimes longer than an hour to get to the creche. I agree that as a parent you should phone, but you also don't know the circumstances of Mr Mostert. Maybe he didn't have time on his phone and couldn't phone the creche or maybe couldn't phone at all, driving all alone? Creches should be held responsible for the children left in their care. Parent are paying a lot of money per month for their children to be safe whilst they are not around and I totally agree that they should have a register of some kind of method to avoid things like this to happen. He can be glad that he could actually reach the window as where my grandson is, we would have to first find a way to get into the grounds as all entrances is guarded by electronic locks.

  • Gary - 2012-03-01 11:08

    that means they do not know how many kids they r taking care of if they r able to lock the kid up, what will happen in case of emergency.....i wonder

  • kentse.mohapi - 2012-03-01 11:10

    I am Fuming right now. It is totally unacceptable.

      Whispers4life - 2012-03-01 11:53

      wow clearly there are 5 people that think that this is acceptable. #seriously???

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 14:47

      Was the child hurt at all? Did he lose a leg? Was there blood?

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-03-02 13:16

      vaal donkie, you sound like one of those arrogant bastards that stand at traffic lights and rest on my car who cannot understand why I have a problem with them putting their filthy paws on my car without my permission. Was anyone hurt? was there blood? Are we supposed to wait for blood? Ignorant fool.

  • daniella.blazic - 2012-03-01 11:11

    totally disgusting! Sure mistakes happen. A: HJ shouldn't of had free range around the daycare to 'hide' or 'move' or 'slip away' he should of had a member of staff watching him AT ALL TIMES! What if he slipped away into the kitchen? Or garden or out the front door? Daycares are NOT cheap & you are trusting these people with your child's life! B: How can the staff member not remember someone coming to collect the child? Does this suggest anyone can enter as they please and remove the children from the daycare? Yes the parent could of called if running late, but in life things often happen - traffic - no airtime etc. You don't expect the daycare to be locked with your child in it!

  • Nasiefa - 2012-03-01 11:17

    the staff member should've been fired not just given a warning !!!!!!

      ferialm - 2012-03-01 14:00

      And then her entire family starves... because she is human and made a mistake.

  • Louise - 2012-03-01 11:18

    My kind was vir 3 jaar in Pro Care. Ek het in hierdie 3jaar elke oueraand bygewoon en op elke liewe vergadering het Trudie spesifiek klem daarop gelê dat ons, ons kinders 5 uur in die middag moet kom optel, aangesien daar baie personeel is wat met Taxi's moet huis toe gaan, maar as jy 'n probleem het of jy sit in verkeer vas, dat jy net moet bel en sê jy is oppad. Die pa van HJ het, soos hierbo aangemeld, eers 17h15 daar aangekom, sonder enige oproep wat sê hy gaan laat wees. Dis ouers soos hy wat die beste skooltjie in Potch se naam deur die modder sleep oor hulle eie nalatigheid. HY was LAAT en as hy die oueraande bygewoon het, sou hy weet van die reëling. Ek sal nog 10 kinders hê en hulle ALMAL met vrymoedigheid by PRO CARE inskryf.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 11:38

      What is unacceptable is that they locked that child in daycare. If a phone call would have changed it all and someone could have stayed late, why can't someone stay late to supervise without the phone call? This also indicates to me that there was probably no responsible person in charge of the creche while the owner was on maternity leave. Just a bunch of clock watchers.

      beama.jansen - 2012-03-01 11:42

      Goeie Creche of nie, hulle moet weet wie elke kind kom optel. wat die berig sê is dat die ma nie daar was nie en die pa was 17h15 daar. Sê nou net n pedofiel het die kind kom optel Hulle moet rekord hou van sulke dinge

      Marion - 2012-03-01 12:11

      @Michelle - no, you don't get it. Since when do we count suitcases to decide whether a child is there or not?

      ina.f.chatwind - 2012-03-01 12:25

      Jou arme kinders. Ek hoop rerig nie jy kry nog tien nie.

      Hettie - 2012-03-01 12:27


      amabot - 2012-03-01 12:29

      Louise, wat van dit: Sy tassie is weg, so hulle aanvaar pappa het hom kom optel. Sê nou maar net n vreemdeling het hom gevat? Is daar nie ook n reel by Pro Care dat SLEGS pa of ma hulle eie kind mag optel tensy anders gereel nie? Is daar nie 'n in-en-uit teken boekie nie? Wat as HJ deur iemand anders gevat is? Wie se skuld sou dit dan gewees het? Sekerlik moet iemand verantwoordelikheid vat vir die feit dat HJ nie aan die einde van die dag "afgeteken" is aan sy pappa nie.

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 14:49

      Een keer in sewe jaar, mense! Ek hoop julle hou julself ook aan daai hogere standaarde.

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-03-02 13:23

      vaaldonkey. Ja ons doen. een maal in 7 jaar 'n kind se dood veroorsaak of 'n kind spoorloos laat verdwyn is te veel. een maal in 'n leeftyd is te veel. Hoeveel kere sou jy aanbeveel dit moet gebeur in 7 jaar? 10 keer? 20 keer? 5 dooie kinders? 3?

  • PatPion - 2012-03-01 11:25

    Sheesh, poor child!

  • Marion - 2012-03-01 11:26

    I cannot believe what I have just read here. Poor little mite. How did they know this: "...had on Monday afternoon slipped into the baby room with another mother and one of the staff members without being seen...." if they never say the child how the hell do they know that he went in with the mother and staff members. Well done to the parents for relocating the child.

      Kroese - 2012-03-01 11:58

      So how many times are u going to comment on this, marion? Have a few pills and calm down, auntie.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 12:31

      I checked the News24 terms and conditions when I signed up and there was nothing that stated that I could not comment on every post if I so wish. If you don't like it, tough.

      Dianne - 2012-03-01 12:40

      @Marion...You Go girl :o) and have your say. Thumbs up from me.

      Buzz - 2012-03-01 16:11

      Really Marion, get over this. Obviously a mistake was made at the creche and I doubt it was intentional, but the father also made a mistake by being late and not letting the school know that he was running late. There were no correct actions in this story, but no harm was done other than the father having to wait for the creche to open just as they would have put their lives on hold to wait for him being late. Honestly... mistakes happen and having a holier than thou attitude does not make you immune to making mistakes either. Please get a life.

      Fila82 - 2012-03-02 10:52

      Ummm relocate - to move or be moved to a new place ... #justsaying #asyouwere

  • sadiemy - 2012-03-01 11:27

    I would have broken a window to get to my child

      Nokuthula - 2012-03-01 13:32

      SADIEMY - I would have not be able to sit there and wait whilst my baby was crying inside. HELL NO!!

  • Johan - 2012-03-01 11:35


  • Whispers4life - 2012-03-01 11:49

    Im quite shocked at seeing the amount of dislikes on valid realistic comments. whats wrong with "Sheesh, poor child! " yes poor child for havning to be scared of a alarm ring and not knowing whats going on!!! really some people clearly dont have standards. dislike this i dont care its fact!

  • simone.webster - 2012-03-01 11:52

    Disgusting! Poor baby :(

  • MSGRule - 2012-03-01 11:58

    Not sure why this is news in the first place. But as a creche they know which children are in the school and should know the parents and should know if a child was collected or not. and by whom. there shoudl be a register!!!! Seriously before you close for the day you check the whole place for anything that was left behind.

      Tanya - 2012-03-01 12:11

      Totally agree! if they not taking note of the children being picked up they shouldnt be taking care of children! wouldnt like my child going to a school like that knowing that happened there. yeah mistakes happen but that is pure incompetence!

  • Barefoot - 2012-03-01 12:02

    not to be condoned but there is a place for human error it's not a perfect world after all, most fail safes are implemented incidents

  • ClaireMeintjes - 2012-03-01 12:04

    OK, what if that child got into a cupboard and swaloowed something or ate something he shouldn't? No Child is allowed to be without supervision. How did the crech see him take his bag and go into another room if there is no parent present? Why did they not get him out the other room? Sometimes delays can not be avoided but the point remains no child is supposed to leave the eyes of the caretakers, especially not under 3. Also how can anyone just assume he has gone home if his parents werent there? he could have slipped out into the street and then what? Kidnapped and then what - they just assumed he went home. I agree this is unacceptable.

  • ina.f.chatwind - 2012-03-01 12:13

    How do you close a day care centre at 17h00 when most parents has to be at work till 17h00? Shouln't you give parents time till at least 17h30.

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:19

      Most people work until 17h00 or 17h30 and then they have to get through traffic to fetch their kids. Creches should stay open until 6 or 7pm to allow this. They tend to charge extra for this time, but if you know your child is in safe hands then it's worth the money.

      Blou - 2012-03-01 14:16

      Apparently in Potch, enough people can get at the Daycare centre before 17:00 to fill it with toddlers(maybe the traffic is not as bad there). Those who can't make it, should find a centre that stays open later (or phone if it is a once off). The centre would not have closed if they realised there was still someone inside. Mistakes happen. People learn from them. I am sure it won't happen again after this.

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 14:52

      The creches I know of open at 06:00 in the morning, which means that by 17:00, they've already put in a 10 hour shift (minus an hour's lunch). Mind you, if you drop off you kid at 06:30 and rock up to work at 07:00, it means you can leave work again at 16:00 without feeling guilty about it.

      stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-03-02 13:37

      What kind of job do you do that you think people can knock off at 1600h for arriving at 7:00? You sound like the type who sit outside in your car and wait for the bell to ring before you go inside in the morning and bugger off in the evening (or afternoon perhaps in your case) despite work being unfinished. The point here is in any event not the time of this incident, but rather the selfish carelessnes of the person who locked up without checking the rooms. And checking the rooms, by the way, had nothing to do with whether there were still kids in there on not, it is the kind of thing you should always do before locking an office (or creche). But I suppose if you are the type who runs out the moment the clock strikes five you would not know this as you have probably never locked up.

  • Sameeha Patel Patel - 2012-03-01 12:23

    The staff that was incharge should be fired imedietly. People in this field have to be 100% responsible and not careless like her. What if the child got into an extreme fit of shock?

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:21

      It's difficult to fire someone immediately in South Africa. They had to go through the correct process of giving that person a warning. If they wanted to, they could change their company policy to say that if something like this happens, immediate firing is allowed and have all staff sign the amendment.

  • Khathu - 2012-03-01 12:23

    Honestly, i think its unfair for all the blame to be laid on the staff member, as the father said, the creche closes at 17:00 and he rocked up at 17:15, if he had called to say he will be late, they wouldnt have closed at 17:00, they would have waited for him, i really feel bad for the baby and the parents are to blame as much as the creche is, after spending a whole with screaming babies, its very easy to make a mistake like this, sometimes parents rock up and pick up their kids without the Teacher even noticing, she asumed the baby was gone cause his bag wasnt there, i guess its also a system which a lot of creches allow which is a total fail as someone can pick up your child without anybody noticing.

  • Lisa - 2012-03-01 12:27

    it is both the school and the parents fault. the school should definately watch more closely who is coming and going! a stranger could have picked the little boy up and they wouldn't even have noticed. and 15 minutes or 4 hours- it doesnt matter! if u are going to be late to fetch your child, u should most definately inform the school!!!! u cant be too careful with your childs safety nowadays!!!

  • Whispers4life - 2012-03-01 12:27

    Late or not the child was locked in the room... "The two women did not see HJ and then pulled the door shut behind them as they left" If the mother was there at 5 she would have come to the situatoin that is: where is my child? then a frantic search would have encured to discover her child is in a room in the dark behind a closed door... Even more speculation! so both ways the daycare is at fault and is correct to implement additional measures. We would not have heard about it, good it came to light as now hopefully other daycares will learn from this mistake...

  • meredith.r.pollock - 2012-03-01 12:29

    I worked for a day care and I am sorry but this is unacceptable. You are to check every room before you leave, but with that said we also were supposed to close at 17h30 but there are parents who just don't care or bother to phone when running late, we sometimes closed up at 18h30 because of parents who came late. Parents also just don't seem to get what this does to the kids, all the kids are gone and you sitting with one or two who's parents haven't pitched or bothered to call, I had one little girl who asked me one day, "is my mommy still going to fetch me, everyone is gone" I had another child who said their mommy didn't love them because they weren't coming to fetch them.. Come on parents get your act together and pick your kids up on time or at least have the decency to call the school and tell them you are running late, save your child the anxiety of thinking you have just left them there.. In this case both parties are in the wrong.

  • Melusi Myaluza - 2012-03-01 12:33

    Why oh why is this headline news???? why???? this happens everyday in townships. is it because the child is white?

      Hettie - 2012-03-01 12:40


      Whispers4life - 2012-03-01 12:43


      Silvana - 2012-03-01 13:17

      @Melusi. LOL you're trying to stir s*!t, hey?

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:30

      Why do you have to bring up the race card? Are you trying to get people to react badly to your statement? How many times do we read about children getting burnt to death in squatter camps or babies that are thrown away after they are born because their parents are unable to care for the baby? We read many stories about horrible things that happen to children who are not white. However, there are some news items that are about white children too (insert necessary shock, horror, gasp). So let's be fair and realise that this is something bad that happened and someone decided to write a news article about it. There is no reason to bring up the race card. It just makes people angry and then they will make angry comments towards you. Perhaps that is what you want? Shame, do you not have enough people paying you attention so that you have to resort to making controversial comments that you know will get a bad reaction from people? Don't worry, you're not alone. I've taken some time out of my day to chat to you. By the way, nice use of question marks. Did you write that whole sentence yourself? Well done! Anyhoo, I have to be off now as I have work to do. Thanks for the chat. DILLHOLE!

      Nokuthula - 2012-03-01 13:38

      Melusi not everthing is about race. BLACK or WHITE no child deserves to go through this.

      daniella.blazic - 2012-03-01 13:38


      reinhard.pettenburger - 2012-03-01 16:27

      Well if this happens every day in townships, and you think it's ok you're a F----ing idiot!!! (This has nothing to do with race they are children that have been entrusted to others to look after yet forget what they are employed to do).

      Juan - 2012-03-01 17:17

      @melusi and you are ok with that?? Why are you accustomed to such a low standard?? Un freaking believable.

  • Nicky - 2012-03-01 12:37

    Lets face the facts here people, some of you are blaming the school others the parents, but the point is it happend and if it was your school you would protect it, and if it was your child you would freak, so just be glad its not your school or your child and stop judging

      meredith.r.pollock - 2012-03-01 13:00

      No Nicky that is BS, there is neglegence on both sides and this should be a wake up call for both day cares and parents. The staff should check every room/bathroom etc before leaving and parents need to learn to call the schools when late. Bottom line is both are guilty! And this should be a lesson to all.

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 14:55

      This is why one takes a deep breath and then analyse a situation before flying off in a fit of rage. This is a non-story.

  • Murechen - 2012-03-01 12:39

    So that means that the collection of kids is not monitored, because we have to sign our kids out with the headmistress.

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:17

      Exactly, so some stranger (or sicko) could have come to pick up the child. They wouldn't have known any better. It's scary, hey?

  • lynda.madden1 - 2012-03-01 12:44

    I would insist that the day care centre was closed down and the staff and owners were never ever allowed to work in the child care environment again. Horrendous!!

      celeste.rsa - 2012-03-01 13:28

      I'm sure they wouldn't hesitate to do that for you!

      Vaal-Donkie - 2012-03-01 14:56

      As long as you hold yourself to the same standard, I see no problem.

  • NCHIMANYANA - 2012-03-01 13:05

    The parents are guilty aswell they were supposed to call to inform the teacher that they`re going to be late and the day care must have some sort of a paper were each and every person who collect baby must sign a proof or else some thing big is coming i tell you..I trully dont blame the teacher we all make mistakes.

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:16

      I agree that a sign-in and sign-out register should be drawn up and completed in full. Every child that arrives or leaves must be marked down as having done so by someone who has seen it happen with their own eyes.

  • Karen - 2012-03-01 13:13

    I'm sorry but nowhere in this article does it say that the parent's DIDN'T call. Maybe the message wasn't passed on. I'm sorry but it's the creche's BUSINESS to take care of every last child until they are all accounted for. Why weren't "additional" measures put in place before something like this happened. When it comes to little people and their lives or wellfare, I would put every necessary measure in place despite a clean record.

      Karen - 2012-03-01 13:15

      Just being devil's advocate here about the parents having called. Also, isn't it true that until the child is handed over to the parent (whether they have, in reality been handed over or not, the child is in the care of the creche and anything that happens before they are safely handed over to the parents, are their responsibility. That's just how I feel anyhow.

  • Shelane - 2012-03-01 13:17

    Is it too much to ask to just check every room of the creche before locking! Seriously that should be common sense!

  • vastis1 - 2012-03-01 13:17

    My children are in after care, they close at 18h00, i work an hours drive from home, but make sure that if i think i am late, i call, but really, what day care closes at 17h00? If feel sorry for the poor kid, hope he got a big hug and kiss from mommy and daddy, and ice cream!

  • wilma.gray1 - 2012-03-01 13:18

    This place should be closed down, I mean they must have noticed this child was not picked up yet? Can you imagine the poor child. I think I would seriously been very angry! A register would be a great idea, but then the staff should know the kids and who has left and who is there!

  • elewies - 2012-03-01 13:23

    OMG drama much? This isn't news worthy. Something I'd expect to read in some stupid local paper like Roodepoort Record... C'mon news24, you really think this is national news?

  • Lesley - 2012-03-01 13:26

    One of my employees got a call from pre-school - first week his 4 yr old was there - to say the little one was not there. Frantically he contacted his wife - who confirmed that Grandpa had dropped the child at school. After rushing to the school approx 50 km away he arrives at the school to find his daugter there - but had wandered into a different class room. The teacher of that class room did not think to find out who this little girl was and why she was in her class room. Principal did not think to check the entire school to see if she had wondered into any other room! Parents were frantic.

  • Maria - 2012-03-01 13:30

    Pro Care Day Centre. Obviously stands for Professional Care ?????

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-01 13:32

    Actually I call the father a whiny fairy.. If it was my child and I couldnt get him out I would have broken a window to get to him. If your child is in danger. You do what ever you can to help him.. "I tried to keep him calm through the window" PATHETIC

  • reinhard.pettenburger - 2012-03-01 13:34

    Sorry No Excuse is acceptable here! The staff member should be sacked with immediate effect! and the day care centre should receive a hefty fine for neglegence. (And yes the parents should also be told off for not calling the school to advise that they will be late but in no way should tis be an acceptable excuse for the school to use).

  • Sibongile - 2012-03-01 13:36

    That's why I only take my kids to day care that closes @18h00,then it caters for unforseen circumstances and as a parent do call them when u're running late also.

  • Cristina - 2012-03-01 13:36


  • Caroline - 2012-03-01 13:48

    Marion - I think we heard your point. Michelle - wonder if you would be so accepting of this 'child care' facility, if your child had been locked in 'by accident' and rescued as a quivering ball of sweat??

      Marion - 2012-03-01 13:56

      Caroline - 'I think we heard your point' - what are you and Kroese - the posting police? You don't have to read any comments with my name next to them.

      Michelle - 2012-03-01 14:41

      Caroline, I would most certainly be upset/angry but I also hope/think I would understand human error and just be extremely grateful that my child did not come to any harm. I am in no way saying that what happened is okay, just pointing out that there is a semi-plausible reason why this happened.

      raegan.mcreed - 2012-03-01 16:41

      @MARRION is there any article that you don't comment on, just asking?

  • juanita.nysschen - 2012-03-01 14:01

    Pappa was laat, juff. was nalatig, en die kind het Dank die Here niks oorgekom nie. Ons mag nie oordeel nie mense!

  • Melanie - 2012-03-01 14:05

    FLIP...that is so scary. The fear in both that child and the parent. That is the worst feeling ever, not knowing where your child is...especially at the age of 20 months when they ar so defenceless. Hope little HJ will be ok. On the note of signing in and out, my kids are in primary school (Gr 2 & 6) and they get signed in at aftercare and only my husband or I can sign them out. They are not even allowed to leave with a friend unless I call the school ahead of time to advise them of this. Surely a tighter measure should be implemented for toddlers who cant talk and say that they are still there, who are too young to know that they are being locked in. Bags get moved and some kid could have picked up the bag and the parent put down somewhere else. So how the HECK can to tell a child had gone home cos his bag wasnt there. FLIP. I would report this incident to Child Services immediately. Obviously there is no routine check done before locking up. Sorry for venting, but if this were my child...well...I dont even want to go there.

  • Moira - 2012-03-01 14:24

    Oh for goodness sake - this was so obviously a genuine mistake. I raised 3 of my own and 2 grandsons - these things happen. A parent is responsible if they are running late to inform the school - had the parent done so, the little one not being where he should have been may have been picked up. This is not the worst thing that can happen to a child - damn ... drive around, parents are using their children as moving targets in cars - the little ones climbing all over the show inside the vehicle; standing; limbs out of windows and the mommy (and so often, daddy) glued to a cellphone - eish, dish horror out in correct measures for the correct things.

      Marion - 2012-03-01 16:14

      @Moira, actually I checked the regulations for running childcare facilities and it states quite clearly that every child must be signed in and signed out. If they had been following procedure this would never have happened.

  • dinnematin - 2012-03-01 15:43

    While everyone is entitled to their own comments and thoughts. The person locking up should check each and every room in the school to ensure it is empty. Assuming (all the children are gone)is certainly not good. Furthermore, if you want to work in a day-care, you have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch each and every child - you are responsible for those children. To have ONLY 1 person at the end of the day is really not a good idea, how does one person take care of all the children as well as seeing them off with the parents, hence the reason this child "went missing" without being noticed. Yes the father was late. I don't know of one day-care that closes promptly at 5. There are many day-cares that close at 5 but the parents have 15 mins to half an hour in order to come then, bearing in mind that there is a penalty for being late, furthermore, many people work until 5 and still have to make their way through traffic in order to collect their child. I feel both are to blame, especially the day-care and I would also most certainly have taken my child out. The most important thing we need to remember here is the child - imagine how traumatised the little being must have been.

  • Michelle - 2012-03-01 16:09

    Really... talk about a "strom in a tea cup".... if the school closes at 5 find another school that stays open later if its too early for you.... if you late... call the school. The lady made a mistake... they have clearly run well for 7 years or there would have been 101 people moaning about the school on this page. They have now learnt their lesson and will take better precautions. The child will not be damaged for life... in my opinion the dad has a few guilt issues and clearly cant tell the time.... he exagerated about the length of time it took for the school to reopen and he was late. Hell its tough being "HUMAN"!!!!!!!!