The tragic death of an infant could have been prevented at a Daycare Center in Jacksonville. The four- month-old infant died after being left in the daycare van for around 5 hours in the scorching heat on Wednesday. The van driver Daryl Ewing has been arrested for child neglect. Ewing’s Love and Hope Preschool on Lenox Avenue owned by Daryl and his wife had fourteen children in their care. So many serious issues in this Daycare put all of the children in this center at risk. Negligence on the part of the daycare owner and the Florida Department of Children and Family Services contributed to this child’s death. Both Daryl and his wife have arrest records which indicate the children were not in the hands of responsible caring adults. If the daycare regulations for transporting children had been followed this infant would not have been forgotten. Florida Daycare regulations require a transportation log. ALL of the children’s names must be recorded in the log along with the date and time they entered the van. They also require that the driver and another daycare staff member check the transportation log and check the vehicle after it arrives walking from front to back making sure that children are not left behind. Yesterday this infant was left alone in buckled in her car seat in the third row. Investigators found the baby girls name was not on the drivers log only her siblings who made it into the daycare were listed. Both Daryl and his wife have arrest records which indicate the children were not in the hands of responsible caring adults. The daycare facility still held a valid daycare license. But the facility had not been approved to transport children. The state has suspended the daycare license sadly, too late for this little one. Every year we see serious injuries from daycare facilities that are not properly supervising the children they are paid to watch. Untrained staff, too many children for the number of care givers, unsafe playgrounds and children forgotten in daycare vans are just a few of the many issues that place your child at risk for serious injuries or even death. We have additional information on daycare regulations and tips on how to choose a childcare facility. Daycares are licensed and inspected by the state but as we can see from this tragic story a license does not guarantee the facility is safe. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, interview the director and all of the staff working with your child. Make sure that every worker has been through a background check. Look carefully at the playground. Visit unannounced. If a facility will not let you visit unannounced this should be a red flag. Do the math, are they observing the proper staff to child ratio determined by age. Don’t accept excuses. Download the Childcare Facility Handbook published by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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