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“It’s just scary:” Parents learn two-year-old son was ‘physically bound’ at day care center

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DAVISON, Michigan — Jason and Rebecca Vannest spent more than a year trusting they made the right choice in selecting a day care for their son. Earlier this year, that trust was shattered.

According to a report by WNEM, the Vannests learned the horrible truth about the day care their two-year-old son was attending in June.

After a long search for a day care center for their two-year-old son William, they fell in love with the Rainbow Child Care Center in Davison, Michigan. They believed everything was fine.

“I would often call and say he was a little upset at drop-off, is he doing OK now? Do you need anything? Is he being good for you today? It felt like we had a trust,” Rebecca Vannest told WNEM.

Shortly after William’s second birthday in June, they received a call that changed everything.

“We had a contact from a worker at Rainbow who had a great concern about the care that he was being provided,” Jason Vannest told WNEM.

That’s when someone on the inside shared a photo with the couple.

“She explained to us he was being physically bound for naps, and over time, this happened about a period of a couple of months,” Jason Vannest said.

The Vannests say the picture showed a clear case of child abuse, with William bound against his will.

The Vannests got the police and the state involved. According to WNEM, the Department of Health and Human Services cited the day care for wrongdoing. However, the punishment, if any, is unknown.

WNEM also confirmed that the Davison Township Police Department conducted its own investigation, but the county prosecutor did not move forward with the case.

The Vannests said they believe the action taken against the Rainbow Child Care Center is insufficient. For now, they are keeping William out of day care.

“It’s just scary as a parent, because I don’t know how another parent would find this out,” Rebecca Vannest said.

21 comments

      • britstoke

        I still swaddle my 10 month old and my 4 year old thinks sister looks funny swaddled and asks me to swaddle her too. Both girls can unswaddle themselves if they want to. I can understand abuse if the kid is swaddled and then something else is used to reinforce the hold, like duct tape or something, but this kid can get out of the swaddle if he wants to, and if it’s bugging him, he knows how to cry. He looks comfy to me. My daughter (4) likes being swaddled if she’s not feeling well or feels anxious. It’s not typical, but it’s not abuse.

  • Me

    So aka he is bad as heck to where she had to call often to check about his behavior and he was swaddled to sleep at nap time because he was extremely disruptive during nap and they’re calling it abuse.

    • Jenna Lowe

      it IS abuse, at that age, if a child is swaddled and they roll over, there is serious risk of suffocation. You just DON’T do it, especially to a child whos parents trusted you with their child.

    • Renee

      It said she called because he was upset at drop offs. Meaning – when he was dropped off in the mornings, he was upset and likely crying. Children do that a lot at daycare. Go visit one some morning. They don’t like being away from mom/day – especially at age 2. And it was very likely he was crying because he was being abused while he was there.

      • carrie

        WAIT you think a TWO year old will suffocate if they roll over when wrapped in a blanket. You are crazy. I have been a toddler/2’s teacher for 15 years and I can promise you that he can easily remove that blanket from his body even in his sleep. Toddlers NEED to take a daily nap to function in 99% of cases and some kids simply cannot fall asleep on their own on a cot and NEED to be helped.

      • Jenna Lowe

        Carrie, I have been a mother for 20 years and my oldest daughter is a toddler/2s teacher herself. At her school, they never swaddle, (it isn’t recommended, and can cause problems like hip dysplasia, etc. if not done correctly,) but especially not a 2 year old. Obviously, if they are swaddling a 2 year old tight enough so that he can’t get out, it is posing a danger. A weighted blanket may make sense to calm him (one of my children has sensory processing disorder and I am sure that would help him, I just can’t afford one), but swaddling him that tight, in a daycare setting, where he may not be watched as closely as if he were at home, definitely can pose a danger. If a child were to be swaddled that tight, against their will, they could roll over on their face and not be able to roll back over, because they can’t pull their arms out to help them. I am not saying this will definitely happen, I am saying it is a possibility, and you just don’t take a chance like that with someone else’s child. Obviously they were doing wrong, or they wouldn’t have been found of wrongdoing. I am not crazy, and it is pretty condescending and snotty for you to suggest so. I just wouldn’t take chances, especially with someone else’s child.

  • Jessica

    Child looks to be sleeping comfortably, wrapped snugly in a blanket, to me. In my experience, swaddling a toddler is not restraint by any means. They will only stay swaddled if they want to be. Sounds like there is a good reason the prosecutor didn’t move forward with the case.

  • Jim

    It’s the dead beat parents that are taking a photo out of context…making up a story…trying to get people to side with them so they have a better chance of extorting money out of the Day Care is all this is about!!!!!

  • Renee

    I worked at a daycare for about 9 months before being laid off and I can tell you that nothing like this ever happened while I was working there. We lost a lot of clients while I worked there because the owner had issues collecting payment (she let the parents walk all over her and they refused to pay and left).

  • Claudia B.Cob

    I don’t know the exact details of this case nor do I know the people involved. I do know that if a child has trouble settling down to sleep and it is an issue, there are weighted blankets that they sell or if swaddling helps to help him get some rest which is important for a two year old. It says it was only used at naptime. The swaddling probably helped him get some rest. Unless he’s bound by something else under the blanket I don’t know how this is abuse. I do think that the daycare provider should have shared this with the family though. I would have explained to the parents that swaddling helps him settle down to sleep. I’m wondering why the parent would call and ask if her child was behaving. There are children who have sensory processing issues that may need this kind of swaddling to settle down to nap.

  • Yvonna Stevens

    Last year we lost my great niece who was 11 months old because she was swaddled and aspirated. With her being swaddled she could not roll over to get away from her vomit. This also happened at a Day Care. My niece and her husband where asked if they wanted to press charges. Being Christians they decided not to because they believe two wrongs do not make a right. This woman will have to live with her decision to swaddle my great niece, which caused her death her for the rest of her life. A child should NOT be swaddled after they can roll over.

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