Day care center owner Kim Redding told KULR there had been a miscommunication among staff members.
"She (one employee) didn't know the staff said all the kids had gone. She said you guys go ahead and go and I'll vacuum," Redding told the television station. "We can't change that mistake. The only thing we can do is put forward more extra caution."
The day care center has been cited for several violations, according to files in the records of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service. In April 2014, Montana's Child Care Licensing department found the provider did not have a daily attendance record that was accurate. Eighteen children were present, but only three were signed in, KULR reported. That same year, CCL found that 18 children, including four infants, were in the care of one unapproved caregiver.
In June 2017, eight children were found in the care of one caregiver, the television station reported. According to CCL, there should be at least two caregivers when there are more than six children present.
Merchen remains confused and angry.
"I mean, at this point, I would definitely recommend nobody ever take their child there," Merchen told KULR.