The Florida day care center where a 3-year-old child was found dead after being left in a van for more than 11 hours has been shut down.
After the death of Myles Hill on Monday, it was revealed that Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, Fla., had already been under scrutiny for not being in compliance with a rule that required day care centers to have time logs of when children arrive, where they are supposed to go, and what time they leave.
In a statement to CNN, Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll confirmed, “Based on the tragic circumstances of this case, both facilities have now been shut down. We will continue to aggressively act to keep kids safe and will hold anyone accountable who doesn’t follow the law.”
The iron fist came down a little bit too late for Myles, who was left in the day care van for more than 11 hours in the sweltering Florida heat.
The driver of the van, who admitted to not doing a head count when the children were taken off the van around 9 a.m. Monday, is facing unknown charges in the incident and has since been fired.
Carroll told CNN that the department is conducting its own “thorough investigation” as well as assisting in the criminal investigation into Myles’ death.
On Wednesday the department delivered an Emergency Suspension Order to Audrey Thornton, the owner of the day care center. No children will be allowed at any location of the day care until the department “determines it is safe for them to return,” Communications Director Jessica Sims said in a statement.
CNN further notes that a review of Little Miracles’ recent inspection reports shows that the center was given five licensing violations by the DCF for not upholding standards that included personnel records, supervision and transportation over the past two years.
Back in June 2015, DCF discovered that staff had failed to include a signed Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements form in its personnel records. More recently, in March 2017, the department found that staff was not “within sight and hearing” of children during nap time, staff members did not keep a current record of attendance on hand during a fire drill, and staff did not store medications “out of a child’s reach.” It was this July when the transportation-log violations were addressed.
How this place was still open and why a 3-year-old is now dead just blows my mind.
As for Thornton, she has tearfully apologized to Myles’ family, who, instead of celebrating the child’s birthday Aug. 22, will now have to plan a funeral.
“I’m so sorry, I’m sorry for your loss and I don’t want y’all to be upset at me. I loved Myles, I took care of Myles since he was a baby,” Thornton said, crying loudly while addressing Myles’ family during a press conference. “You know I loved all of my kids at both locations. I took care of all of my kids; I did what I could do to provide for them and teach them every day.”
Read more at CNN.