A Gold Coast childcare worker has been suspended after leaving a 16-month-old toddler inside a locked pick up bus for over an hour as temperatures hit highs of 30 degrees.
The little girl’s mother, Lisa Easton said she thought she’d lost ‘her whole world’ when she received a call from Goodstart Early Learning Parkwood telling her what had happened to her daughter, Violet.
Upon racing to the childcare centre, Lisa found her daughter ‘spaced out’ and suffering from symptoms of dehydration, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
'She (the childcare worker) called me and said, 'I'm sorry Lisa I have done something terrible, I left Violet on the bus for a long time I'm so sorry', after those words I went into a complete panic attack.'
According to 9News, Violet was the only one on the bus but when the staffer arrived at the centre at 8.35am on Tuesday, she was distracted by a maintenance worker and then attended a meeting -forgetting the one-year-old was there.
The little girl wasn’t found until an hour and five minutes later, after another worker heard her cries.
"I could not fathom what my daughter went through for an hour and five minutes, it's absolutely heartbreaking," Lisa said.
Lisa also claims that staff had made no attempt to seek medical help for the one-year-old, and instead placed her in a high chair and gave her a sandwich.
Lisa rushed Violet to hospital where she was treated for dehydration.
The ordeal, described as an 'accident or injury' in an incident report, left the mother 'traumatised' and too emotionally scarred to return to her job, which she had only recently started.
"I can never trust my daughter in another childcare," Lisa said.
The incident has been reported to police who have confirmed they are investigating.
"I do want to see her charged, my daughter could have been deceased...even if it is a mistake and a human error she needs to realise there is consequences for that," Lisa said.
In a statement to 9News, Goodstart Early Learning said: "We are deeply concerned that this has occurred. This is totally unacceptable - the safety and wellbeing of children is always our priority. We are co-operating with the relevant authorities, providing support to the family, and undertaking a comprehensive internal investigation to determine what happened and ensure this doesn't happen again. The staff member involved has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation."