SHREVEPORT, La.-- The Louisiana Department of Education today revoked the license of an early learning center in Caddo Parish and terminated its public funding after a child was left alone in a hot bus following a field trip, and the center failed to report accurate information about the critical incident.
"We are thankful this young child is safe," said State Superintendent John White, "but we cannot ignore the negligence displayed by this center."
The Department's Division of Licensing inspected Little Union Learning Center, located at 1846 Milam Street, after receiving a report from the center that a critical incident occurred on June 14 in which a child was left alone in a hot bus for approximately three minutes following a field trip to Hot Wheels Skating Rink, despite staff conducting a head count. Upon inspection, the licensing division learned the child was actually left in the vehicle for at least 20 minutes, and a head count never occurred. Staff did not notice the child was missing until a family member arrived to pick up the child. The child was found asleep in the back of the bus.
The center failed to report within 24 hours the critical incident to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, which investigates instances of possible child abuse and neglect. The center also failed to conduct a visual passenger check and face-to-name count during the field trip, despite documentation that stated otherwise.
This center is now ineligible for public funding through the Child Care Assistance Program, which helps make child care more affordable for working low-income families. The education department has alerted families affected by this action and is working closely with them to identify safe, quality alternative options.
Little Union Learning Center has 15 calendar days from receipt of the notice of revocation to appeal the decision. Providers who have had their licenses revoked are ineligible to apply for licensure for two years. Operating a child care center without a license may result in an order to cease and desist, as well as an injunction from a court prohibiting the continued operation of a child care center without a license and placement on the statewide registry of individuals prohibited from operating a child care center.