The grandfather of a child at Kiðagil pre-school in Akureyri, North Iceland, was sent home with a different child, it has been revealed.
The incident a few weeks ago came to media attention yesterday and the education chief at Akureyri council says a string of coincidences led to the extraordinary blunder. Only those registered on a special list are allowed to collect children from the town’s pre-schools, RÚV reports.
A whole half-hour after granddad returned home with the child, the grandmother also came home and immediately noticed that her grandchild was not in the room, but somebody else’s. The grandfather spends long periods away and has not had the chance to spend much time with his grandchild, Akureyri head of education, Soffía Vagnsdóttir explained.
He went to fetch the child from pre-school, but accidentally went into the wrong classroom, where he said the name of the child he was there to collect. The teacher misheard him and prepared a two-and-a-half-year-old child with a very similar sounding name to go home. The grandfather did not notice the mistake.
Soffía says the case is being taken extremely seriously and that it must never happen again. It should not have been possible this time either, she admits, as not just anyone can go into a pre-school and collect whichever child they choose. In this instance everything turned out well in the end, though both families and staff were offered counseling.
New training in the town has strengthened and re-emphasized the rules to ensure this doesn’t happen again—though rare mistakes can never be stopped altogether.