The license of a Lexington day care has been revoked after a 3-year-old boy was left in a van for more than nine hours earlier this month.
The boy was left in a van belonging to Precious Jewels School of Excellence day care from 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 to 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 4, police said. The child showed signs of dehydration when he was taken to the doctor the next day, but was otherwise unhurt.
The day care was closed on Aug. 5 when an emergency license suspension was issued by the Office of the Inspector General. The suspension listed Evelyn Johnson as the registered agent of Precious Jewels School of Excellence.
The owner of the day care appealed the suspension, but then withdrew the appeal, Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Beth Crace Fisher said. After the owner withdrew the appeal, the license was revoked.
According to Kentucky regulations, a day care owner can not successfully apply for a new license for 7 years after a license has been revoked. The applicant would also need to meet a number of other requirements, including 60 hours of training, to be issued another day care license.
The driver accused of leaving the boy in the van was charged Thursday with wanton endangerment by Lexington police. Investigators say Dorothay Gateskill, 23, did not check the van at the end of her shift to make sure all of the children in the day care van had been dropped off at their homes.
The boy was scheduled to be dropped off at 5 p.m. on Aug. 3, police said. When he didn’t arrive home, his 16-year-old sister left a message for her mother who was at work.
The family is originally from Africa. They speak very little English and are not yet familiar with the culture of the United States, police said. So when the boy’s mother learned he had not arrived home, she called a family friend.
The family friend, who is also new to the United States, told her the boy was likely with police and not to worry, police said. When the mother arrived home later that night, she called police to ask where her son was. After working through the language barrier, officers were able to find the child.