Police Investigation Underway After Infant Bitten By Toddler At Daycare

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Missoula Police and Child & Family Services personnel are investigating Missoula’s Busy Hands Child Care Center, following reports that an infant was left alone long enough to be bitten in the face by a toddler.

Tracy and Pasha Blinov dropped their 7-month-old daughter off at the facility on March 31. A short time later they received a phone call from the facility saying that a 2-year-old toddler had bit their daughter.

The Owner of  Busy Hands admitted her employee may not have been watching the children at that exact moment, but said her employee responded immediately after hearing the infant cry.

During an interview, the infant’s mother says she understands that children sometimes bite; however, she is very concerned with the number of bites her daughter received before an employee noticed what was going on.

The baby’s mother posted the following message on Facebook on Sunday: “She’s in much better spirits today. I’m happy to say the bruising and swelling is coming down a little, it’s amazing how resilient babies are. So blown away by the support from everybody.”

The owner of Busy Hands says that after watching surveillance footage, she saw an employee place the infant in a bouncer and the 2-year-old toddler in a playpen close by. The employee left the room,  went to the kitchen and that’s when the video shows the toddler getting out of the playpen.

At that moment she wasn’t… her eyes weren’t on them. But she went right over when she heard the baby cry. I feel like she did her job. She didn’t ignore the cries, she went right over so she did the best that she could,” the owner said.

Blinov says she’s concerned about the child-to-adult ratio standards at the facility.

The State doesn’t have any regulations for drop-ins, but we try to follow the daycare regulations. That’s totally voluntary on our part,” the Busy Hands owner said.

“The State sets ratios for regular daycare facilities for a reason, so why are you not holding yourself to the same standards? Just because you don’t have to?” Blinov said.

petition has been created on Change.org, calling for the daycare facility to be shut down. The page states:

“We spoke with the owner of busy hands today as well as reviewed video footage of what happened and hear what staff wrote in their incident reports. The footage showed the 2 yr old toddler appeared to have attacked Eliana biting her for about 1min 29sec before staff intervened. There is no audio but you can see Eliana’s legs kicking and flailing in obvious distress.”

The owner said that they will be changing their ratios after what happened and added hat she feels horrible about the incident. They are also working with employees to make sure it never happens again.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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