Mom upset after 4-year-old boy left alone on bus at West Jordan pre-school

Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-09 20:04:58-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah – A West Jordan mother is looking for a new pre-school for her 4-year old son after he was left alone on a school bus.

Administrators from Small World Child Care in West Jordan say it was an unfortunate mistake, and they’re retraining their staff so this doesn’t happen again.

But FOX 13 News has learned the facility is already in jeopardy of losing their license based on various violations, including lack of supervision, and this latest incident likely won’t help matters.

Jelissa Reed told FOX 13 that the staff at Small World Child Care handed her a note Thursday afternoon when she went to pick up her kids. They informed her that her 4-year old son, Ethan, didn’t get off the bus with the rest of his class.

“It wasn't until his daycare teacher saw that he wasn't in his class about 15 minutes or so later that they discovered he was actually still in the bus,” Reed said.

The bus was parked in front of the school. Teachers found him inside fast asleep. The school apologized and assured Reed they were going to review protocol so it doesn’t happen again, but the mother said she isn't satisfied with that response.

“I just don't feel like they're safe now," she said.

She worries about what could have happened.

“If it had been any hotter or any colder, I mean, it could have been bad," she said.

FOX 13 has learned that Small World Child Care in West Jordan is in jeopardy of losing its license.

Simon Bolivar issues licenses to child care facilities in the state and says the school has findings in the past that are public record.

Bolivar told FOX 13 the facility was cited in August for not having enough teachers per student. For example, one teacher cared for 23 children.

In July, inspectors cited the school for not supervising a child who was sleeping in their front office. The school must correct these findings by the end of the October, or they’ll lose their license.

“We might issue a revocation notice to the provider, and we might end up closing the facility,” Bolivar said.

Small World Child Care issued a statement to FOX 13 regarding the issue, which is reproduced in its entirety below:

“First and foremost, our children’s safety is, and always has been, our number one concern at our centers since we first opened our doors in 1977. Per our company policies and procedures, our bus drivers are required to conduct an inspection of the vehicle to confirm that all children have been removed and taken to their classrooms safely. We have a double check procedure to confirm that all children that are scheduled for pick up, have made it safely back into our care. Unfortunately, a child had fallen asleep on the rear bench seat and was missed during the inspection. Within minutes of our bus returning, our receiving teacher verified that the child was not accounted for at which time our managers immediately checked the building and vehicle and found the child still asleep in the bus. We have scheduled a review and continued training of our policies and procedures with all staff members and bus drivers to ensure that we are always following through on our double check approach for the safety of every child in our care.”

If you would like to find out if a child care facility in Utah has violations, that information is available here. Simply click the link and search for the child care facility you are interested in learning more about.