ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester family called for accountability Monday after their 4-year-old was left inside a van at her daycare center.
Makyia Artis’ family said she was picked up Friday morning by the Living Waters Childcare van service, brought to the daycare center, and left inside the van until dismissal nine hours later.
According to administrators at the childcare center, the child said she was tired when she was picked up that morning. Since there weren’t many kids in the van at the time, she was allowed to take a nap in the back. The van monitor, the childcare center said, forgot Artis was there and did not follow sign-in protocol, so she was marked absent for the day.
About nine hours later, Artis was found in the back seat of the van. Her family said she was evaluated for potential hypothermia but was ultimately uninjured.
“Nine hours in the cold on a bus in 18-degree weather snowing all day long,” Artis’ grandmother, Brenda Powell, said. “The bus seats are leather, and windows had to have been covered in snow, where she couldn’t even see out because it snowed all day long. So she just slept balled up in a ball on a cold leather seat for 9 hours.”
Living Waters Owner Sarah Dunbar said she immediately reported the incident to the proper state agencies Friday and apologized to Artis’ parents. She said the van driver and monitor were terminated Friday, as well.
Powell said the family was considering getting a lawyer. The Rochester Police Department said Monday it was investigating the incident, and could not comment on an open investigation.