Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

On Feb 15th, 2011 Highways to Tomorrow Daycare in Bartow Florida lost my 4 year old son. He was found out behind the daycare in the street. He was found by a lady no one knows, I just thank God for sending a angel to watch over my son. The workers at the daycare never missed him they never knew he was missing till the lady brought our son back in the daycare.When my husband got to the daycare to pick up our son the lady waited for my husband to walk out with our son, she told my husband she found our son out back in the street by the credit union, so my husband went back in the daycare and ask what was going on, that some lady had told him that she found our son in the street, they were not even going to tell us!!! I wish I could tell the lady THANK YOU FOR BEING MY SONS ANGEL!!!

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Thank God he was safe and for that lady. If you haven't done so already, please contact DCF so they can open an investigation.
Thank you so much for posting this.  I had narrowed my choices for VPK for my daughter down to this center and one other.... You definitely helped me make my final choice!  I am so glad your son is okay.  That is such a busy intersection- it is terrifying to think of a child wandering around that area.
This is terrifying to me as my son attends there . . . please let us know if you filed a report with DCF because if not, I would be inclined to do so.  This makes me wonder if I should be looking for new childcare.  They have treated our son well but losing a child and not noticing and then failing to inform the parents is unexcusable.
God Bless you Sherry, Lord how incredibly scary!  Turn 'em in!
I worked in a center in s FL many years ago that lost a 4 yr old (I was with the 1's) the boy was pit in the hallway in time out, went out the back door to the playground, climbed over the fence which had barbed wire over the top, and was found several blocks away. The parents were told but begged the daycare not to kick their son out for being "bad". I'll never forget the owner being worried the media would find out and instructing the staff not to talk to them if they did. I don't know what ever happened, I quit - I was so disgusted by the whole thing. I didn't have kids back then but my rule of thumb was I wouldn't work anywhere that I wouldn't send my own child if I had any.

Losing a child is inexcusable. Period. Not informing the parents adds to it, but there is no excuse for losing a child. If proper ratio is maintained and the staff is paying attention, there is no excuse for it whatsoever IMO. Sure things get hectic, but there's never an excuse for not knowing where every member of your class is at all times. Personally I would pull my kids no matter how well they were treated.
wow...could you tell me who's class he was in...my daughter attends this location...my oldest daughter did too...I have been very happy...accidents do happen, but to NOT confess this to the parents...I have an issue with that...
My sons teacher was not there that day. He was with miss darylnn

Michelle Miller said:
wow...could you tell me who's class he was in...my daughter attends this location...my oldest daughter did too...I have been very happy...accidents do happen, but to NOT confess this to the parents...I have an issue with that...
I called DCF they came out and done a report

JW said:
This is terrifying to me as my son attends there . . . please let us know if you filed a report with DCF because if not, I would be inclined to do so.  This makes me wonder if I should be looking for new childcare.  They have treated our son well but losing a child and not noticing and then failing to inform the parents is unexcusable.
I am so thankful your son was alright and that an "angel" was watching out for him.  This is a mother's worst nightmare.  Did DCF say they would follow up, i.e., check more frequently for teacher/student ratio? 

Sherry Strickland said:
I called DCF they came out and done a report

JW said:
This is terrifying to me as my son attends there . . . please let us know if you filed a report with DCF because if not, I would be inclined to do so.  This makes me wonder if I should be looking for new childcare.  They have treated our son well but losing a child and not noticing and then failing to inform the parents is unexcusable.

Dear Mrs. Strickland,

As the owner of the operations at HTT and a parent, I do understand how all of you - In particular Mrs. Strickland - feels about this situation. 

The reason I’m responding to this post is because I understand your pain, and also because few details about this incident were left out from your posting.  First I would like to clarify that the statement about: “we weren’t going to tell you about the incident” it is not true.  We discussed all of this at our meeting.  During our meeting we (your husband, my director, you and I) watched the video and talked about the whole situation in detail.  Unfortunately a lot of details were left out from your posting, and it is creating panic among customers.  DCF was notified and did a report on the incident. 

I can see how some attending and potential customers are concerned about this incident, please contact our center and/or myself if you have any questions or concerns about anything that goes at our school.

I once lost my child at mall and it was the worse 5 min. of my life.  My child was next to me one minute and the next I couldn't find her.  I was watching her but children are fast and get distracted easily.  Has this every happened to any of you or anyone you know? 

Dear Mrs. Strickland, once again I’m sorry that we did not meet your expectations and that this incident left you the wrong impression about our center.  We are a very responsible, caring and loving center.  We have been in business for more than 17 years and we take our job very seriously.    

May God bless you and your family.  I wish your child the best at his new center.  If you ever need anything from us please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are always here to help and love your child and your family.  Thank you and have a wonderful week

When my daughter was in preschool, 2 little girls, about age 4 got out of the school, crossed the street and knocked on someone's door!  The person that answered the door was a very nice lady who questioned the little girls and put 2 and 2 together and walked the girls back to the school.  When I got to the school the grandmother was there raising a stink.  I had been very very happy with the school up to this point, however, I immediately pulled my child from this school. (My child was not the one who got out)  I don't care what explanations a facility tries to give, or how they try to justify themselves.  I also understand that it might not necessarily be "someone's" fault, HOWEVER, because kids do tend to wander, and they don't grasp the concept of danger, a better security system should be in place!  Why didn't an alarm go off when the child crossed the threshold? why aren't there higher door knobs so that the child cannot reach.

I don't care what any facility tries to say to justify their actions (or lack thereof) but if this happens, you are NOT reliable as your security measures aren't appropriate to take care of a child!  You can be the most loving and caring facility, with the best teaching methods, if your security system doesn't keep my child safe..........

I agree...there should be some kind of alarm when the doors are opened

Iliana Ulloa said:

When my daughter was in preschool, 2 little girls, about age 4 got out of the school, crossed the street and knocked on someone's door!  The person that answered the door was a very nice lady who questioned the little girls and put 2 and 2 together and walked the girls back to the school.  When I got to the school the grandmother was there raising a stink.  I had been very very happy with the school up to this point, however, I immediately pulled my child from this school. (My child was not the one who got out)  I don't care what explanations a facility tries to give, or how they try to justify themselves.  I also understand that it might not necessarily be "someone's" fault, HOWEVER, because kids do tend to wander, and they don't grasp the concept of danger, a better security system should be in place!  Why didn't an alarm go off when the child crossed the threshold? why aren't there higher door knobs so that the child cannot reach.

I don't care what any facility tries to say to justify their actions (or lack thereof) but if this happens, you are NOT reliable as your security measures aren't appropriate to take care of a child!  You can be the most loving and caring facility, with the best teaching methods, if your security system doesn't keep my child safe..........

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