Two Boys Left in Day Care Vans
It's a scary mistake and it happened twice on the same day. Two different Milwaukee daycare providers each left a child alone in their transport van on Friday. One of the boys stayed in a van overnight.
A 6-year-old boy from ABC Daycare at 5920 W. Center was supposed to be dropped off with a family friend. Police say instead, he spent all night all alone in a daycare van. The family friend picked up two siblings, but did not see the boy. The boy's mother called Saturday morning to check on her children and that's when they realized he was missing.
Also on Friday, a mother went to Kindergarten Plus at 6123 N. Teutonia after her son was not dropped off at home, according to Milwaukee police. She searched the center along with staff. They found the woman's six-year-old boy sleeping in a van where he had been left for at least an hour.
For Mary Smith-Reid, owner of Reid's Child Care Academy, getting kids home safely is a crucial part of running a successful daycare.
"My drivers are educated on checking those vans," Smith Reid said. "We need to show a concern about the children we are transporting in our vans."
To make sure kids from her center are never forgotten, Smith-Reid bought a $350 Kiddie Alert system for each of her vans. It's a device that forces drivers to check for children at the end of their run. As soon as the van is turned off, a voice is heard inside the van.
"Warning," the electronic voice says. "This is to ensure that all passengers are being removed."
To turn off the alarm, the driver has to go to the back corner of the van and push a button.
State Senator Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, is pushing for a state law that would require these systems in daycare vans.
"I think it's extremely urgent and I think this weekend demostrates why," Coggs said.
A 43-year-old driver from Kindergarten Plus is in custody facing possible child neglect charges. No one is in custody from ABC Daycare, but police are still investigating.
Both boys are unharmed.