day care

Texas Day Care That Duct Taped Kids During Naptime Deserves To Be Shut Down

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I always hate to hear sketchy stories about day care because, so far, both of my kids have had a wonderful experience at two separate day cares. However, this story about a Texas day care in trouble for duct taping kids during naptime certainly doesn’t set my mind at ease.

In what I thought was sure to be an Internet prank on my Facebook feed, several sources confirm that a Fort Worth, Texas, day care center is now under investigation for allegedly “enforcing” naptime with the use of duct tape:

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services launched an investigation of Heart2Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park after photographs began circulating among parents showing a child wrapped in a blanket and bound to a nap mat by duct tape.

Television station KXAS-Channel 5 aired one of the photos and an interview with a mother who said she had removed her son from the center after hearing its owner say the 3-year-old had been taped to a nap mat because he was unruly.

Parents, like Lorrie Almquist, were understandably upset. Almquist said that she was called by the owner of the day care center to report an incident. According to Almquist, the owner told her, “that my son had not been napping and another little boy had not been napping and so she decided to duct tape them to his nap mat.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME. The story gets even worse—pictures of the duct taped children were circulated by an ex-staff member before they quit. The pictures show a child covered in a blanket with duct tape over his chest and legs to keep him in place.


Now, I understand just as well as anyone that kids are squirmy little monsters when they want to be. Based on my interaction with day care, I also have a great respect for child care workers and teachers. Day care is a very difficult job, especially as you are responsible for the well-being of multiple children who may or may not act up at any given moment. But there is no excuse for resorting to this kind of behavior.

Director of Heart2Heart day care Ashlea Pena had the audacity to defend what the center had done:

Pena, however, defended the school, claiming that the situation had been “extremely exaggerated by a very upset parent.” She added that “the child involved was in no way harmed or caused any distress, in fact within 5 minutes he was sound asleep with his arms tucked under his chin. And woke up smiling.”

What a perfect way to add insult to injury. Not only did the day care act inappropriately by using duct tape to keep squirming kids down in naptime, without the knowledge or permission of parents, but the director attempted to defend these actions.

The duct-taping day care is currently under a 30 day investigation by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. I sincerely hope they get shut down for this ridiculous mistake that is likely to be repeated since the director defended her staff. At the very least, parents, please withdraw your kids from Heart2Heart right away.