Mom: Day care left son alone, asleep outside in heat

Mom says 3-year-old asleep on playground slide when she picked him up

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Northside day care is under investigation by the Department of Children and Families after a mother said her 3-year-old was alone on a playground when she picked him up Tuesday afternoon.

Brittany Cicero said she went to the Future Steps Learning Center about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to pick up her son, but when she got there, she faced every parent's nightmare.

“All I heard was the day care worker saying, 'Where is he? Where is he?' My heart dropped,” Cicero said. “The workers were checking the bathrooms and other classrooms, and they couldn't find him. One of the workers decided to go outside, and she came back in with him. He was crying.”

After searching for the boy, a worker found him asleep on the playground -- alone.

“The worker said to me, 'He was outside on the top of the slide,'” Cicero said.

She said the owner didn't know how long he had been out there unsupervised.

A DCF spokesman said that lack of supervision "is unacceptable,” saying the boy should never have been left alone.

Cicero said her son was left in the heat and things could have turned out worse.

She said after they brought him inside, he was discolored and lethargic, so she rushed him to an emergency room.

“You hear about this on the news a lot. Kids left in hot cars. It's really hot outside. To me, that's unacceptable,” Cicero said. “Nobody is ever going to watch your kids the way you do.”

The owner of Future Steps declined to comment about the incident.

DCF officials said two teams are investigating and taking the incident very seriously. DCF officials said the day care had only had minor violations in the last two years involving record keeping. 

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