Garden City child care license suspended after boy left on bus
Garden City — A child care center's license has been suspended by the state after a 5-year-old boy was left alone on a bus in the cold, officials said Tuesday.
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Community Health System said it has shut down the Jade Child Development Center in Garden City following an investigation that revealed the boy was alone on a bus for one and a half hours during an after-school program on Nov. 9.
The child had been picked up at his school between 4:20 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. that day and transported along with eight other children to the child care center on Cherry Hill Road, according to the agency's investigative report.
Just before 6 p.m., the child's mother arrived at the center to pick up the boy and caregivers could not find him, the report said.
Ultimately, the center's assistant director found the child crying inside the bus. His coat was open and he was soaked in urine. The temperature that day was 39 degrees, the report notes.
The assistant director then informed the child's mother that he had been sleeping on the bus and that when she found him, he was wet.
The child's mother took the boy to Children's Hospital of Michigan for evaluation after he complained that his toes felt "cold and itchy," the report said. He was diagnosed with "frost nipped toes."
On site investigations were conducted at the center on Nov. 14 and 15.
The staffer who left the child on the bus admitted during the investigation that she did not double check for children before exiting the bus. She had only been employed at the center for about two weeks and had not been trained on the center's busing policy, the state report says.
The caregiver has since been fired, the state said.
The facility, which was issued a license from the state in August 2013, has been cited for previous violations as early as May 2017, when a 2-year-old was walking in the hallway unsupervised with his pull-up and pants around his ankles and dragging a step stool. In August, the state received a complaint that another 2-year-old was injured while at the center, leaving a dime-sized mark on his forehead with no explanation.
Most recently, the center was cited after a 3-year-old was seen walking in the parking lot without supervision. When the parent returned the child into the center, none of the caregivers were aware the child had left the building.
The suspension order went into effect Monday evening, the state said.