A host of a morning TV show has criticised the CEO of a childcare company following the death of a three-year-old boy in Far North Queensland.
Julia Davison, CEO of not-for-profit Goodstart Early Learning, appeared on Channel Nine’s Today on Tuesday, two weeks after the child was found dead on a van by the driver outside an Edmonton primary school, south of Cairns.
Today host Allison Langdon asked Ms Davidson what changes had been undertaken since the child’s death.
Ms Davison said “new roles” and “double and triple checking” had been introduced with a supervisor to sit at the back of the bus at all times.
There are three designated roles on buses following the introduction of a "checker" to conduct a sweep of a bus after it returns.
In addition, the staff member who acts as the bus supervisor, is required to sit at the rear of the vehicle for the entire journey.
The checker is a centre-based staff member who meets, greets and checks a vehicle on its arrival.
Langdon pointed out “this isn’t the first time this has happened”. In 2018, a little girl was left on one of Goodstart’s Gold Coast buses but she didn’t die.
“How can any parent be reassured that your child is safe in your care?” Langdon said.
“We don’t know what happened in Cairns,” Ms Davison replied.
“What we do know is we have had a handful of bus incidents over the years here at Goodstart,” she said.
“Every time we've had an incident we've taken stock and we've reviewed and strengthened our policies and procedures.”
Langdon said what Goodstart is doing “isn’t enough” as a “little boy is dead”.
“We will keep doing everything we possibly can to make sure that nothing like this can possibly happen again whilst a child is in our care,” Ms Davison said.
Ms Davison was asked what she said to the family to which she replied she couldn’t reveal the contents of that conversation.
She also appeared on the show just 24 hours after the boy died and said she was “absolutely devastated” by the little boy’s death.
“It is every family's worst nightmare that something might happen to their child and it is every educator's worst nightmare something might happen to a child in their care,” she said.
While bus services have resumed, the kindy at Edmonton has yet to reopen.
Two people have been charged with manslaughter over the death.
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