Following the terrible drowning of two toddlers in their care earlier this month, two California day care owners have been arrested and charged with felony child endangerment resulting in death and criminal negligence. This is a heartbreaking situation. The tragedy has shocked the community and sparked concerns about kids’ safety in home daycare facilities’.
Happy Happy Daycare was a residential day care centre for small children in San Jose, run by Nina Fathizadeh, 41, and Shahin Gheblehshenas, 64. Police were sent to the business early on October 2 in response to a tip from Fathizadeh of a drowning event at their tiny day care centre on Fleetwood Avenue.
Four kids were in their care at the time of the event, and one more was scheduled to be handed off shortly. Gheblehshenas had departed for another nursery, therefore all the kids were being watched over by a single person because a nursery worker was missing.
The District Attorney’s Office’s investigation found that Fathizadeh placed one kid in a cot and let the other three play in the backyard patio area unattended and out of her line of sight while she was busy making breakfast. Adjacent to the play area was a pool surrounded by a five-foot fence. Sadly, investigators found that the toddlers had been able to enter the pool area because the gate leading to the pool had been left ajar in order to water plants.
It was at least five minutes before Fathizadeh finally stepped outside to the garden, where she saw one youngster floating in the pool. She started doing CPR on the youngster in a frantic bid to rescue it. When her brother learned of the issue at the same moment, he saw two more kids floating unconscious in the pool.
Jeff Rosen, the district attorney, stressed that child care providers have an obligation to closely monitor and safeguard the youngsters entrusted to their care. “You have an obligation to keep a hawk-like eye on the young children entrusted to your care,” he said. It is now our duty to see to it that the accused are held responsible for this tragic and preventable incident.”
The event is a sobering reminder of how important it is to have strict safety protocols and ongoing supervision while taking care of little children, particularly in daycare facilities.