Daycare worker fired after 5 year old left in hot van

Published: Aug. 4, 2016 at 11:34 PM CDT
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Less than a week ago, little Addalynn Ziegenfuss was left behind and alone in the daycare van on a hot and humid day. Daycare staff told her father, Cameron they were coming back from a field trip when it happened.

“She couldn't get her seatbelt off when all the other kids did,” said Cameron.

Her dad says the daycare told him they did head counts.

"From the time that the rest of the kids came in to the time my daughter came in was about 37 minutes,” Cameron said.

The news was shocking to him. She had to figure out how to unhook the seatbelt, unlock the van just to get out.

"She had to go around the building to the front of the building and ring the doorbell,” Cameron said.

"I'm just glad that she was able to get out of the van and get to us," said daycare worker Chad Lambert.

Managers at the daycare were just as shocked as the parents.

"It just takes one person to not follow your procedures, whatever that might be and here you are,” said Lambert.

They say the certified teacher just simply didn't follow their protocols.

"We always want to be 100% up front honest open book for our parents," Lambert said.

After reporting to the state, Sprouting Minds sent out a letter to parents apologizing.

They're already taking measures to make sure this never happens again.

"They wanted to save the face of their business more than they wanted to take care of my daughter and my family,” said Cameron.

He says they didn't get a phone call about this until almost 40 minutes later but the daycare says his wife was already on the way. They wanted to tell her in person.

"Her face was still all red. Her hair was sweaty and matted,” said Cameron.

Sprouting Minds says they gave her water and cool cloths and that she didn't need medical attention. A choice her parents said they wish they could have made.

"I never thought that something like this would happen to my child. We're very, very fortunate that she's OK. But I still think about it all the time, what if, ‘what if,’" Cameron said.

Addalynn's parents have taken her out of the daycare. Since the incident the teacher who didn't follow their procedures has been let go. She told her bosses she was sad she ever let this happen.

This has never happened at this location before, but employees confirm to WOWT 6 News that a similar incident happened at the company's location in Lincoln.

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