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Report cites serious violations after Tampa Bay daycare staffer released 2 children to a stranger

Grandmother made call for action after daycare didn’t check ID
Posted at 4:48 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 17:27:42-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — It was Victor Colon's first day at the Milestone Academy in Temple Terrace, but when his grandmother arrived in the afternoon to pick up the three-year-old; she said a staffer handed over two little girls she'd never seen before. Liz Colon says they never even checked her ID.

"I didn't know what to do," said Liz, who quickly alerted the daycare worker that those girls did not belong to her. "That's a huge error, a huge error."

Liz made a call for action, and after hearing her story, Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway connected her to Hillsborough County's Daycare Licensing Office, which prompted the Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing to inspect the facility. ABC Action News obtained the county inspector's report. In it, the employee admits she brought the girls to the front because Liz Colon "looked like their grandmother."

"She assumed she knew the person picking up, and she assumed she knew which children belonged to her," said Lisa Bragano, the Interim Manager for Hillsborough Child Care Licensing.

According to the report, the same staffer twice told the inspector that she asked the grandmother, meaning Colon, for identification. Liz Colon says that never happened. The caregiver came clean about asking for identification after, "the inspector then stated he knew the worker was not telling the truth," the report stated.

Jackie called the daycare, emailed the owner, and spoke with the owner by phone. He has yet to respond to questions. Victor's family says they pulled him from the facility the day after the incident.

The county concluded the employee never physically placed the two little girls outside the daycare door and into Liz Colon's custody. But child care licensing services hit Milestone Academy with three violations classified as the second most serious. They were:

  • Failing to provide adequate direct supervision of children in care
  • Staff making a misrepresentation by actor or omission
  • Facility not having an attendance log

A county inspector returned to the facility in April and found the violations had been corrected. Milestone Academy has not had any other serious violations in the last three years.

Before choosing a daycare for your child, review past inspection reports for any serious violations. They can be found by clicking here.