A family is furious after their four-year-old daughter was left inside a daycare van in freezing temperatures for nine hours.
The disturbing incident took place on January 7th when a driver and van monitor with Living Waters Childcare picked up Makyia Artis at 9:15 a.m. in Rochester, New York. The child told the monitor that she was sleepy, and they allowed her to lay down across the seats in the van. When the bus arrived at the childcare facility, the other students exited the van, but Artis was left lying on the seats for nine hours, overlooked by both the monitor and driver. As Artis was inside the snow-covered vehicle, temperatures fell to 18 degrees. She was forced to lay on the cold leather seats and could not see out the windows.
The little girl was marked absent from daycare and was not found until the driver returned at the end of the day. He saw Artis curled up on the seats and offered her $3 not to tell her family what happened. However, the girl told her mother, who then reported the incident to the school. According to the owner Sara Dunbar, she had no idea what happened until that phone call.
“We thought this child was absent. I didn’t know until I actually received a call from the parent saying her child came home saying she was on the van. So it was a really horrible situation, and I would never downplay it,” Dunbar told a local news station.
Artis’s grandmother, Brenda Powell, slammed the daycare center and urged parents to talk to their children when they come home from daycare and school. Artis has soon been moved to a different daycare.
“Always ask questions: “How was your day? What happened in daycare or school today?” Throw those questions out to your kids so that their child will be the same way and won’t wind up going through things, and they won’t even know about it,” she advised.
Both employees have been fired, and the Rochester Police Department is working to determine if criminal charges can be filed in the case.