A US mum was “speechless” when she picked her 17-month-old daughter up from childcare last week and found her feet tightly bound with masking tape in an apparent effort to keep her shoes on her feet.
The tape left the little girl’s ankles swollen, with red marks and bruises.
In a Facebook post, Jessica Hayes said she was “upset” because “someone was clearly upset that she was learning take her shoes off and [has] done it out of being aggravated”.
The North Carolina mum said as soon as she saw the toddler’s feet she reported it to the director of Pleasant Hill Daycare, who was “just as speechless as I was”.
However, it was only when she tried to take the tape off that she realised just how uncomfortable her daughter was.
"I then went to take the tape off and my daughter was crying as this was obviously uncomfortable to her," Jessica said.
"This was left on long enough and tight enough to leave marks, cause swelling, and bruise."
After reporting her daughter's injuries, the director responded by firing the two employees responsible.
Shockingly, Jessica received negative responses from fellow parents at the childcare centre who apparently felt she shouldn't have spoken out, she said in a follow-up Facebook post.
The mum responded to the criticism that her daughter's shoes were "too big", saying "let me know one parent who doesn’t use the 'thumbs width rule' when buying shoes."
"I will not sit here and take time away from my child to argue with each individual who feels a daycare is hurting more than an innocent child and parent," she wrote.
"I have no respect for the people who created a group chat through Facebook to bad mouth me and my child."
She said she'll continue to send her daughter to the childcare centre because she doesn't have anywhere else to send her at this stage - but because of the backlash her daughter would be "removed once the opportunity arises".