NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – A mother in South Carolina is in jail after police say she left her 9-year-old daughter at a nearby park.
The story has sparked a national debate about minimum wage workers and low-income mothers.
Authorities say Debra Harrell was booked on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.
The incident report says Harrell admitted to leaving her 9-year-old at the park while she went to work at McDonald’s.
She says her daughter would play on the family’s computer and sit at the restaurant during her shift.
However, the computer was recently stolen and the girl asked to go to the park.
Daycare workers told WJBF that it is a common problem for mothers in the summer.
They cannot afford daycare during work hours and often have to rely on friends and family to watch their children.