The owner of a daycare center in New York is reporting that she has fired two employees after a 4-year-old girl was accidently left in the back of a van for 8 hours.
The incident occurred at Living Waters Childcare on January 7th.
Owner Sara Dunbar, told reporters that she first heard about the incident after the child’s parents contacted her to tell her that the child told them she had been left in the van for the entire day.
Dunbar said she was unaware of the incident until she contacted the employees involved and the employees confessed to what happened.
According to the report, the child was picked up from her home around 9:15 a.m. the driver allowed the child to lay down in the back of the van because the child complained about being “a little lethargic and tired.”
The driver and the monitor then unloaded the van forgetting that the child was sleeping in the back.
It was said to have snowed the entire day so employees could not see that there was a child in the van.
The child was not discovered until around 4:15 p.m. when the bus was again loaded up with students who were in the process of being taken home.
According to Dunbar, the student had been marked absent for the day but the driver and the monitor realized their mistake after the child sat up in the seat on the way home.
Dunbar says she went to the child’s home to check up on her. The parents told Dunbar that the child complained that her feet and legs were cold and that they planned to take her to the hospital for an evaluation.
It was also alleged that the person responsible for leaving the child in the van gave the child three dollars and asked her not to tell her parents what happened. It was confirmed that the child was given money, however, they could not confirm whether or not the adult told the child not to say anything.
Dunbar says in addition to firing the two employees involved for not following protocols, she reported what happened to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the state’s Central Registry.
“It’s an unfortunate and tragic situation, but the most important thing was the child is OK,” Dunbar said.