Report: Watertown day care workers failed to take action in infant's death

Report: Watertown day care workers failed to take action in infant's death

WATERTOWN, Mass. — 25 Investigates has learned more about the hours and minutes leading up to the death of a 5-month-old girl at a day care in Watertown.

As we first reported Monday, the state handed down an emergency order, revoking the license of Strawberry Child Care in Watertown after a baby girl was found unresponsive earlier this month.

On Tuesday afternoon, 25 Investigates obtained a copy of that revocation order that details what happened. The 5-month-old had apparently just begun to roll over on her own and was, at one point, face down on a play mat that day.

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The report says surveillance video shows the baby "spends three minutes and 24 seconds struggling to keep her head up.... no educator assists at this time."

And even after the infant was later found unresponsive in a crib hours later, the report says "approximately eight program educators can be seen moving about the room, cleaning up, and organizing papers. On two separate occasions, 'Child A' is left unattended on the changing table. None of the program educators attempt CPR."

Ultimately, it was someone from a nearby medical office who came in to start CPR, but the surveillance video mentioned in the report contradicts statements from the day care that two of its workers attempted to resuscitate the little girl.

State investigators say infants in the day care were also left completely unattended for more than 30 minutes at least three times that day.

The report says the day care failed to maintain the required ratios of educators to children, with as few as one adult watching seven infants in the facility. It was cited for a similar violation in 2014, according to the revocation order.

As recently as January, the same location was also cited for not providing “adequate supervision” of an infant.

As 25 Investigates reported Monday, Strawberry Child Care has another location in Brookline that is still open, but is not allowed to accept any new children.

Boston 25 News still has not received comment from the day care owner.

The investigation is ongoing.