Family Furious after Toddler Found Unconscious on Childcare Bus After 6 Hours

QLD toddler wakes in hospital after being left on daycare bus | 9 News Australia

When three-year-old Nevaeh Austin was left on the bus for six hours in hot temperatures, her family was “mortified.” According to hospital staff who treated them both before transferring over near Rockhampton, the young girl survived but remains unconscious under the 29.2-degree temperature of Queensland.

Parademics responded to a call at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The child was then airlifted for medical treatment at the Queensland Children’s hospital. Pamela Parker, the grandmother, told reporters that Nevaeh is now “breathing on her own.”

“You expect that child to come home happy, healthy — maybe dirty or a little bit hungry — but you expect them to come home,” Parker told reporters.

Parker expressed her anger and refusal to accept what had occurred. “You do not expect a phone call saying ‘I’m sorry.’ That doesn’t cut it. It’s not good enough,” she said.

Shane Austin talking about his daughter, Nevaeh Austin, and her accident. Photo from A Current Affair

No call, no communication – Nevaeh Austin’s dad

Nevaeh’s father, Shane Austin, told A Current Affair that he was “praying for the best but yeah, expecting the worst” when flying to Brisbane.

Sheridan, Austin’s partner, had put Neveah in her seat on the bus that morning. He never “heard” anything from the centre about what had happened.

“I didn’t even get a phone call, mate. And I want to know why,” he told reporters. He added he wanted to know why all these people walked past her.

He also raised concerns about their roll call and mechanism and safety measures.

Just right outside the centre

Nevaeh had been picked up from her Gracemere house that morning. The child sat in the second row of the van with her backpack when she was left behind. Nevaeh was the only child driven to the Central Queensland daycare facility.

The bus parked right outside the main door of the facility.

Nevaeh was left unsupervised outside Le Smileys Early Learning Centre in Gracemere, near Rockhampton, for six hours on Wednesday afternoon, as per the Capricornia Police District. Two employees from Le Smileys Early Learning Centre, according to Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow, got off the bus without Nevaeh at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

He claimed she was discovered unconscious six hours later, at 3:00 p.m., when personnel went to utilize the bus for the after-school pick-up.

Nevaeh was brought to the facility, where medics administered CPR.  She was airlifted to Brisbane after being in Rockhampton Hospital.

“When they returned to the centre,” Shadlow told news outlets on Thursday, “the driver and one other person who were in the bus at the time had forgotten that she was there.”

The personnel concerned were “cooperating to a degree,” according to Shadlow, although legal counsel had been solicited.

He continued to say that authorities would look into whether personnel had broken the rules after a similar incident of a child dying in a minibus neglection in Cairns in 2020.

As this is entirely unforeseen by the family, it’s hard to imagine what they must be going through. We wish our best wishes to them during these difficult times!

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