|Little T’s Tiny Tots Child Care Center|
This sad case from Dallas, Texas comes courtesy of a heads up from our lovely ILLusionS. Apparently, daycares are seriously lacking in actually caring for children and can’t be trusted to keep them alive, at least not in North Texas. 3-year-old Benjamin Price was left in a van in the brutal Texas heat, where he died, just outside of Little T’s Tiny Tots Child Care Center. The van’s driver, Erica Hooks, was arrested and charged with injury to a child, and is being held on $50,000 bond. Hooks drove a group of children a movie on July 20, but when they returned to the center, Benjamin didn’t leave the van and Hooks didn’t think to make sure every single one of those children was accounted for. Not only is that a no brainer when you’re watching other people’s children, it’s a Child Care Licensing requirement that all kids be accounted for before the driver even leaves the van.
The daycare was recently shut down, but it did stay open in the days following Benjamin’s death. Records for the daycare showed that Little T’s Tiny Tots had 23 violations, two considered serious, but Marissa Gonzales, a spokesperson for Child Care Licensing, said that, “Based on the number alone, it seems fairly comparable to day cares of its size.” What I find odd is that this same spokesperson goes on to say, “We try to make sure that safety is enforced for all these children, and that we’re out here checking on a regular basis” and that, when investigators find problems, punishment is swift and appropriate. Yet they dragged their asses when it came to this daycare. Seems like there’s a bit of ass covering going on in an area where Price is at least the fifth child to die since 2003 after being left behind in a day care van. In 2011, only 24 out of more than 9,500 child care facilities statewide had their licenses revoked, but child advocates still worry that the rules that are supposed to keep these kids safe, aren’t. Going by Gonzales’ statements, you can see why, since they’ll let violations slide and keep a daycare open after a child’s death from heatstroke while half-assedly assuring the public that they have a child’s safety and best interests at heart.