6-Year-Old Abandoned in a Daycare Bus for 90 Minutes Serves as Warning to Atlanta Parents
Parents have every right to feel apprehensive when placing their children in daycare or with a babysitter.
While vetting a childcare provider can reduce the risk that your child will suffer abuse or neglect while under the care of a child service provider, many children suffer mistreatment and injuries even at licensed daycare facilities.
A story this week in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides an example of these dangers. A six-year-old girl was left alone in a Prodigy Point Early Childhood Center bus near Snellville last month for nearly 90 minutes. State regulators are now investigating the Gwinnett County daycare facility. Fortunately, the weather was not extreme, but the consequences of such a mistake on a scorching summer day could be devastating.
The circumstances that led to the mistake are still being investigated, but certain facts have been reported by the local media. The little girl fell asleep on the bus and awoke to find the bus was empty. She attempted to exit the bus but found that the door was locked. The facility indicated that their policies provide that the bus driver is supposed to do a sweep of the bus to ensure that all children have exited. An employee from management at the daycare center also is supposed to check the bus before it is parked. It is unclear why these checks were not performed or if the procedures are regularly followed.
Childcare facilities in Georgia are closely regulated and must comply with rule and procedures for ensuring the safety and well-being of the children in their care. State regulators have suspended the daycare facility’s bus transportation program for twelve months. Once the suspension is lifted, a monitor will be used to ensure that the daycare facility continues to comply with rules and regulations.
While this child may have suffered the trauma one would expect a six-year-old to suffer being locked alone on a bus for an extended period, there are many cases where children suffer more serious physical and emotional injuries when daycare centers do not comply with state laws. When children suffer injures because of neglect, lack of supervision or abuse, the director of the daycare center may refuse to answer a parent’s questions about the incident. Daycare providers also rarely volunteer to pay for the medical and counseling services that a child needs following an accident or incident involving abuse or other trauma.
While the police and regulators can enforce criminal and regulatory compliance, these options do little to ensure that the medical and psychological needs of a child are met following a harrowing ordeal in a daycare center. While a claim for damages may provide a means to obtain compensation for such supportive care, these cases can be difficult because children under five may have difficulty communicating why they are afraid to return to daycare or how they suffered a particular injury.
At Montlick and Associates, our Georgia daycare injury attorneys are compassionate, and are fierce advocates for the rights of our clients and protection of children. We will work diligently to uncover evidence proving neglect, abuse and injury of children in a daycare facility. Montlick and Associates is available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.