A Calgary mother and father are demanding a daycare driver be fired after their child was left in a van for two hours.
Last Monday, Samantha Richard received an automated voice call from her six-year-old son Brandon’s school telling her Brandon hadn’t made it to class.
“I was like, ‘Obviously this is a mistake. I dropped my kid off at daycare at 7:30 a.m.,'” Richard said. “I called the daycare and they told me Brandon had been dropped off at school.”
Richard works at a daycare downtown. She dropped everything and headed towards Brandon’s school.
“I didn’t know what to do. I just started running and driving.”
Brandon was supposed to be dropped off at school by Fledglings Educare Centre. The daycare takes as many as 13 children to multiple schools in the area.
“It was horrible,” Paul Vaslot, Brandon’s dad, said. “Call the daycare, call the school. Nobody knows where he is. You start calling everyone you know to start looking.”
The police, school staff and friends scoured the area around the school. Two hours later, Brandon was found hiding under a seat in the daycare’s van.
“There were two daycare staff in the van,” Vaslot said. “One of them told us they saw our son go to the school, so we were looking in the wrong direction.”
Now, Brandon’s parents want the driver held accountable.
“We just want to see the driver gone. She shouldn’t be driving kids to school if she doesn’t take it serious. These are kids,” Vaslot said.
Originally, the daycare told them the driver would be dismissed. But on Tuesday, Brandon’s parents found out the driver was still behind the wheel.
“Not only is she not fired, but she’s been driving my child around and we didn’t know,” Richard said.
The owner of Fledglings Educare Centre, Dawn Kumm, said this is the first time anything like this has happened. The driver has been written up and there’s a new policy in place that will see attendance taken by name instead of by a head count. The driver will also have a second person with her when transporting the children.
“It’s a very difficult time for anyone to find a job,” Kumm said. “As long as I can ensure she’s not going to be responsible for the children and nothing like this can happen to another child, I see no reason to let her go.”
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The response is unacceptable to Brandon’s parents who have pulled him out of the daycare.
“If it was -30 C or 30 C, we’d obviously be having a different conversation right now, and I’m not OK with that.” Richard said.