How could this have happened? This is what we’re all thinking after hearing the news that three-year-old Nevaeh was left on a childcare bus for up to six hours. 

The sweet little girl in the photo above, is now left fighting for her life in a hospital in Brisbane with her parents by her side, left wondering how could this have happened? Again.

You see, just two years ago three-year-old Malik ‘Meeky’ Namok-Malamoo was left on a Goodstart Early Learning Bus in Edmonton, a suburb in Cairns, where temperatures sky rocketed to over 30 degress. He was found six hours later on the bus, deceased from heat exhaustion.

toddler left on bus
Both Meeky and Nevaeh were left on childcare buses for up to six hours. Meeky did not survive.

Officials assured every parent that the laws had changed, that there were plans in place to ensure no child was ever forgotten, that this wouldn’t happen again.

But it has.

‘Heart of her daycare’

Nevaeh, a bright and vibrant three-year-old is described as the “heart of her daycare”. She was picked up at her home in Gracemere, near Rockhampton at 9am on Wednesday 4 May where she was taken to the Le Smileys Early Learning Centre on Lucas Street.

Source: Facebook

Emergency services were called to the area just before 3pm, after staff at the centre found the girl in an unresponsive and semiconscious state. Nevaeh was then rushed to Rockhampton Hospital in critical condition.

Since then she’s been transferred to a hospital in Brisbane. She’s suffering from kidney failure and is receiving a deep brain scan. Her father has spoken out about how distraught they are that this could have happened to their little girl.

Over the course of the day, the temperature had come close to 30 degrees in Rockhampton. Le Smileys Early Learning Centre remains closed today.

‘I know this feeling all too well’

The news that Nevaeh had been left on a childcare bus is sickening, to say the least, especially considering this awful situation is so similar to Meeky’s death.

After Meeky was found on the bus, a law was also changed so that educators and child transportation providers must conduct risk assessments and put in place policies to protect children. This includes policies around embarking and disembarking the vehicle so all children are accounted for.

The Edmonton Goodstart Early Learning Centre was also fined $71,000 and the bus driver Michael Glen Lewis, who discovered the child, was sentenced to six years in jail over manslaughter charges.

Meeky’s mum shared her thoughts this morning.

On Thursday morning, Meeky’s mother, Muriel Namok spoke out on Sunrise after seeing this tragedy unfold again, saying it made her “sick to her stomach”.

This is terrible. I know this feeling all too well. It is important because we are trusting these people with our children. They are taking our children. 

They are taking our children and we are trusting them to bring them back. For this to happen, they need to be held accountable.”

Later speaking to Allison Langdon on Today, Malik’s godmother, Rowena Bullio, said Wednesday’s incident was “unbelievable”.

To hear what happened yesterday, just total disbelief. We were just in disbelief. And there is anger.”

‘Shouldn’t have happened’

Assistant Minister for Education, and the local Labor MP of Keppel, Brittany Lauga also spoke out:

Tonight a little girl in Gracemere is fighting for her life in hospital after being allegedly left on a bus at daycare. I know this little girl is very much in the thoughts of all of us tonight, wishing for a full recovery. My thoughts are with this little girl’s family and friends.

Families need to have peace of mind that when they send their children off to school, kindy or daycare, they will come home safe.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Nevaeh and her family as she fights for her life in hospital.

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