Mother Arrives At Daycare To Find Daughter Alone & Locked Inside With The Lights Off

Her daughter was the only one there.

Left: 2-year-old girl peers out of dark daycare window, distraught. Right: outside view of Plantation KinderCare daycare YouTube

A worrying incident occurred at around 6 p.m. on Feb. 15, when a mother arrived at a Florida daycare facility to pick up her 2-year-old daughter, as she often had before, only to find the lights out and doors locked, as if it were closed.

Her daughter had been at KinderCare in Plantation, Florida, but now it seemed that nobody was there.

The mother, Stephanie Martinez, called Samantha Scaramellino, the little girl’s aunt, hoping that she had picked up her young daughter Anastasia from the daycare without Martinez knowing.


Unfortunately, her aunt did not have the 2-year-old Anastasia with her.

The toddler had been locked inside the dark, empty Florida daycare and left there.

Martinez realized that her young daughter was still inside the dark daycare when Anastasia managed to pull a chair over and stand on it in front of the door window, coming into Martinez’s view.

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Unsurprisingly, when she saw her daughter alone, looking out the window at her and reportedly crying, she called 911 for help to get her out.


According to a local Florida news station, Martinez told the 911 dispatcher, “She is inside the daycare. She just came up to the door.”

The dispatcher asked to confirm, “She is inside by herself?”

Martinez confirmed this, answering, “Yes, she’s crying. She’s inside by herself.”

Plantation emergency assistance was able to quickly rescue the little girl.

The Plantation Police and Fire services arrived at the sight and were able to force the doors open to free the young child.

By local accounts, it seemed that Anastasia was now OK. According to police, the last daycare employees left about 8 minutes before the arrival of Anastasia’s mother.


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Anastasia’s mother asserts that her daughter has been “super traumatized” by the awful experience, and she wants the daycare facility to be held accountable.

She told local news about how helpless she felt when she saw her daughter trapped inside. She said, “I couldn’t get to her. I was freaking out. It’s like the worst feeling ever; you can’t do anything.”

She goes onto address KinderCare’s treatment of her daughter, saying, “I just want them to be held accountable. I don’t want this to ever happen to anybody else. It’s the worst feeling ever.


Martinez’s attorney, Mark DiCowden, confirmed to the New York Post that she has plans to sue the daycare center for locking in her child.

KinderCare responds to the event with promises of an investigation.

The company released, “At KinderCare, nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children in our care. While we’re thankful the child was quickly found and was safe, this incident should not have happened.”

They go on to add that they have notified agency partners, such as Child Protective Services, as is part of their protocol.

Finally, they spoke about how they would move forward, handling things like investigating this situation in particular as well as safety concerns in general.


The company wrote, “As these investigations take place, we’ll also take immediate steps to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. All of our teachers and staff will be retrained on proper child supervision. They’ll also receive additional training on childcare best practices as part of the curriculum we already had planned for all teachers and staff at our centers across the country for Professional Development Day on Monday.”

Hopefully, KinderCare takes these measures as seriously as they claim they will, moving forward, and that Martinez might be able to find answers and hold the people accountable who left her 2-year-old daughter alone in the dark.

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on various topics, such as news and entertainment.