Child left in day care van overnight

March 4, 2013 4:45:40 PM PST
It was a long night last week for a six-year-old boy in Missouri City after his parents say he spent the night unnoticed in his day care's van.

The parents say they received the surprising call from the day care this morning. They thought their son was staying with a relative and were shocked to hear where he had actually spent the night.

"I'm calm right now because he's OK, but then, I was pretty upset," the child's father, Anthony Lennette, said.

Lennette says he's still outraged about what happened last week at his son's Missouri City day care, Southern Preparatory Academy.

"When his mom came to pick him up, they told her he wasn't there [and] he left with his aunt," Lennette said.

But Lennette says when the boy's mother called the boy's aunt the next morning, his aunt thought she was joking. He says it wasn't until the mother got a phone call the following afternoon that the family discovered the boy had been left in the van parked at a day care worker's home all night long.

"They called his mom and they told her they were sorry he was left in the van some kind of way," Lennette said.

Upset, Lennette says he went straight to the day care.

"They didn't tell me anything. One of them was saying she didn't know what was going on. The other one didn't want to tell me anything," he said.

We called Southern Preparatory Academy, but the director refused an on-camera interview. She did admit that the day care worker driving the van did make a mistake and leave the child in the van overnight and part of the next day. The director also blamed the parents for not calling about their child.

The day care owner said the van operator is no longer with her company and that the incident was reported to the state immediately.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says there have been no major problems at this day care since it opened two years ago, but officials did note past concerns about supervision, child-to-worker ratio and the day care directors' roll.

The state agency says, "Child care licensing is investigating whether or not the day care center followed our rules regarding transportation. One of the rules says someone has to check when children get on and off the vehicle and the staffer must do a walk through after everyone has gotten off the bus because if not, it could be a tragedy."

"Of course, I would love an apology," Lennette said.

The father says his son deserves that apology more.

"I'm just glad my son is safe right now," Lennette said. "I will deal with that later."

The boy's parents said they plan to pull their son out of Southern Preparatory Academy.
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