Posted: Aug 2, 2012 5:25 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 3, 2012 1:07 PM
MISSOULA- A Missoula daycare that has had past violations has again been cited after leaving a child in a van at a Missoula movie theater.
Three people who work for Tot Town have been charged with negligent endangerment for leaving a 4-year-old boy in a vehicle in a movie theater parking lot on July 19th.
The Missoula Police Department completed the investigation into the Tot Town daycare on Thursday and cited Melanie Hoke, Jennifer Nogel and Michelle Asby with misdemeanor negligent endangerment.
Police say the incident happened when the daycare workers left the boy in the car in the parking lot of the Carmike 12 Theater and add the workers were taking the children to a movie in several vehicles, and they did an initial head count, but then ended up picking up some kids along the way.
Investigators said the boy was left in the vehicle as result of the confusion and say it's not clear how the daycare providers didn't see the child inside.
The boy was left in the car for at least the duration of the movie, but he was not hospitalized after the incident.
The daycare director declined to comment for KPAX. We did receive a copy of the letter sent by the daycare owners to parents. Click here to read it (pdf).
On March 1, 2012, the Child Care Licensing Department looked into a complaint on March 1, 2012 and say a CCL inspector found the daycare didn't have sufficient staff supervising the infants.
The report says a primary caregiver was not assigned to the infant room, required by law and also found an unapproved caregiver caring for the children alone.
Records show that during the inspection, the CCL inspector found that records were not
kept if a child was injured at the daycare.
CCL also found that the Tot Town did not notify the department of several staff changes that affected the child to staff ratio in the facility.
During the inspection they only found one approved primary caregiver on file and that was the director who was not present during the initial visit.
However, the state did renew the Tot Town's license for another three years.