Childcare centre fined for leaving toddler on bus for hours

·1-min read

A childcare centre in Western Australia has been fined $10,000 after a two-year-old girl was left unsupervised on a bus for almost two hours.

The toddler was on the bus for about an hour and 45 minutes, including while the driver left to fill up with fuel about 30-40 minutes after arriving at the Coolabroo Neighbourhood Centre last November. He was unaware the child was still onboard.

It wasn’t until a staff member at the Thornlie centre did a headcount that anyone realised she was missing.

Stock image of an empty public bus in Sydney. Source: AAP
WA authorities have fined a childcare centre operator after a two-year-old girl was left on a bus. Source: AAP

In a statement, the Department of Communities said the girl was administratively signed into the centre despite still being on the bus. She was found 25 minutes after the bus returned to the centre.

In a judgment published today, the State Administrative Tribunal issued a $10,000 fine to the centre's operator Moorditch Gurlongga Association Incorporated for breaching a legal requirement to supervise enrolled children.

Department executive Paul Isaachsen said it was crucial that childcare operators undertook thorough checks when transporting children.

"Despite this being the first breach of this nature by the Coolabaroo Neighbourhood Centre, the circumstances that led to a child being left on the bus were not acceptable," he said.

"Being approved to operate a childcare service in Western Australia carries significant responsibilities and obligations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the enrolled children."

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