Idaho day care accused of forgetting child at park, loses license

July 20, 2018 GMT

A Nampa day care facility lost its state license after staff left a 3-year-old behind at the park.

Staff at Little Angels Daycare/Preschool at 523 11th Ave. N. are accused of leaving behind a 3-year-old girl at Lakeview Park on July 13 in Nampa, according to a notice of suspension letter from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

After returning from the park, staff didn’t realize the girl was absent until an employee saw a Nampa Police social media alert that the girl had been found at the park, Angelina Diordyuk, Little Angels operator, told the Idaho Press Thursday. A community member found the child and contacted police, according to Health and Welfare.

When she saw the post, her heart sank, she said. “I dropped everything and ran to the cops.”

Staff took about 14 children to the park to play on July 13, Diordyuk said. They were packing up and getting ready to put the children into two cars, one which held 10 children, and Diordyuk’s, which held four. She said she remembers asking the 3-year-old to place her sippy cup in the container she was carrying before getting everyone into the vans.

Diordyuk said they counted the children as they were all making their way to the vans. It is a lesson learned, she said, that they should have counted again as the children got themselves into the vans.

Diordyuk described the 3-year-old as quiet, so when they returned to the day care, she and the staff assumed she had gone to play quietly in the house or underneath the play area with Barbies, like she usually does.

Then a staff member saw the Nampa Police alert.

Following the incident, Diordyuk said the day care had already made plans to check every 15 minutes for the children and would have done anything else to keep her license.

“I just can’t believe it happened,” she said.

She did not expect the suspension, which came four days later, as she said she has never had issues in her five years running Little Angels Daycare/Preschool. The day care started in house, but was in its second year at a separate facility in Nampa.

“It’s my life and in one day it’s all gone,” Diordyuk said through tears.

The suspension letter states the day care failed to report that the child was missing from its facility, which is required within 24 hours of an incident involving suspected neglect or abuse of child. Health and Welfare became aware of the incident because of a complaint from a community member instead.

Diordyuk said she believed that Nampa Police reporting the incident to health and welfare was the same thing as the report she was required to make. She pointed to the fact that she has never been in trouble with health and welfare for not understanding all of the rules and regulations.

The day care also violated its Idaho Child Care Program Provider Agreement, according to a separate letter notifying the day care of its termination with the Idaho Child Care Program.

The termination letter stated the girl was not safe from environmental hazards, as the park included a duck pond, water play area and was adjacent to a busy roadway.

The day care is also accused of violating its transportation agreement with ICCP, stating in January that it does not transport children as part of its business. But a Nampa Police report states an unknown number of children were transported to Lakeview Park, according to the letter.

The operator of the day care must immediately return the license to the department. Little Angels has 28 days to appeal the notice of suspension. It is a misdemeanor to operate a day care facility without a day care license from the department, according to the report.

In a separate letter of a notice of termination, Diordyuk was advised that any day care facility she operates will not be eligible to receive payment from the Idaho Child Care Program for five years.

Diordyuk said she doesn’t know what the next step for her will be.

Health and Welfare spokesman Chris Smith said the department’s child care licensing team has contacted all participating ICCP families at this provider to inform them of the termination and that they would need to find a new ICCP participating provider to continue to receive assistance.