Gardner day care under investigation after mom says daughter was in ‘baby jail’ for hours

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GARDNER, Kan. -- A Johnson County day care is now being investigating after a mother says her toddler was put into a “baby jail” for hours.

“It`s supposed to be a place that you trust,” mom Caitlin McKenna said.

McKenna's kids have been attending Kiddie Corner day care in Gardner since November. One of the reasons she chose the center was for its classroom cameras.

This week, she did a routine afternoon check-in and noticed her daughter was penned up in a punishment zone called "the corral,” which is typically used for short time-outs.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I wonder what happened,’” McKenna said.

A half hour later, she checked back in and noticed Breanna was still in the corral -- and trying to claw her way out -- while a teacher sat and played with other kids.

At 5 p.m. pickup, Breanna was still in the corral.

Surveillance footage shows Caitlin McKenna's daughter in "baby jail" for several hours.

Breanna's teacher told Caitlin the little girl had bitten another student in the morning. The two-year-old had been in the corral a total of four hours, only let out for a brief lunch and during nap time.

“How long she was put in it was completely wrong and just excessive,” McKenna said.

The incident was so upsetting, McKenna reported it to the Kansas Department for Children and Families and Gardner Police. She’s also removed her kids from the childcare center.

Kansas law even says prohibited child discipline can include "enclosing in a confined space.”

“It breaks your heart to think about what your child went through,” McKenna said.

Now McKenna's learned Kiddie Corner's been in trouble before. During its state inspection in January, several employees were found to be without required training and one classroom had too many kids.

McKenna is now encouraging all parents to check those records before choosing a childcare center -- and if you see something off, trust your gut.

“Don't ever think your complaint or what you've seen is not big enough to be handled or big enough to matter because it does matter,” McKenna said.

A woman who told FOX4 she is the acting director of Kiddie Corner believes things have been blown out of proportion and that an attorney advised her not to comment further.

If you want to research any child care facility in Missouri for past complaints and violations, visit this site. For Kansas facilities, click here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.