EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - We've all heard of children being disciplined with a time out, but Eagan police are investigating whether a Kinder Care Daycare may have given a child a time out – outside during a recent cold spell.
The Kinder Care on Town Center Drive in Eagan advertises itself as a safe place for kids while their parents are at work or school, but employees are alleged to have left one of those children out in the cold.
A concerned citizen called police around noon on Tuesday to report a 4-year-old girl was standing outside the building -- without a coat -- because she had been screaming in class. Investigators say at the time the temperature was 3 degrees, but it felt like -9.
“Punishing a child by putting them outside in single digit temperatures is obviously not ok. So that's what we are trying to determine if that's what happened,” said Officer Aaron Machtemes of the Eagan Police Department.
Investigators don't know how long the girl was outside, but they say she did not need medical attention. They are talking to staff and the girl’s parents to figure out what happened and if this is a regular form of discipline at the school.
“It all depends on circumstances of how out of control the child was. Why the child was taken outside in the first place. How long the child was outside. All those factors would go into whether or not there is a criminal charge,” Machtemes said.
Some say they've seen the staff give children time outs, but never outside in freezing temperatures.
“I don't believe anyone here would discipline a child like that or that that is how a child should be disciplined in anyway. Anywhere,” said a parent whose child attends Kinder Care.
The State Department of Human Services says it is also investigating the daycare, but data privacy laws prevent it from saying what the investigation is about until it’s over. In a circumstance like this it would see if there were any license violations like failure to supervise a child or neglect.