Parents Still Seek Answers After Child Left In Day Care Van

Two days after their 4-year-old daughter was left for hours alone in a day care van, Monica and James Maxson got a face-to-face meeting with the day care's management on Thursday.

The Maxsons arrived at Little Lambs Daycare at 44th and Capitol in Omaha with 4-year-old Haylee just after 11 a.m. After meeting with the owner and manager for about a half-hour, they emerged with a little more explanation about what happened.

“They said that there was a checklist,” said James Maxson. “That the person in charge who drove the van that she was left on, said that she had checked the vehicle, even though she didn't. Then the assistant director was supposed to have come out and checked the vehicle or make sure the vehicle was checked.”

A third person was also supposed to check the van. According to Maxson, at least three people, including the driver, have been let go.

“It's like sitting inside of a freezer for five-and-a-half, six hours,” said Maxson. “We did go to a doctor today. Had a doctor take a look at her and see if everything is okay.”

Haylee was found by Little Lambs staff around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday still strapped into her car seat in the day care van. She had been picked up at 8:30 that morning.

James Maxson says they have contacted a lawyer, but have not decided whether or not to take legal action. This isn't the first time an employee of Little Lambs has left a child in a vehicle for hours all alone.

Tammy, who didn't want her last name used, worked for the day care in November 2010 when a 2-year-old boy was also left in a van. “This kid was not found for about seven hours afterward. And he was found by the teachers. They noticed from their rooms that they saw this child sitting out in the van."

The day care was put on probation by the state after the 2010 incident. The driver that time, Dan Godsey, who was one of the owners of the day care along with his wife, was cited for child neglect. He was forced to sell his portion of the business back to his wife and then ordered by the state to not set foot on the property.

Police are still investigating Tuesday's incident.

When asked Thursday for their response to the incident, Little Lambs management said they had no comment.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services licenses child care centers in the state. NHHS spokesperson Marla Augustine says if a child care center does not provide proper supervision they could be put on probation, be assessed a fine or even have their license revoked.


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