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Educators Avoid Jail After Leaving Toddler On A Bus In Queensland

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Educators Avoid Jail After Leaving Toddler On A Bus In Queensland

After leaving a toddler on a bus for more than five hours in the heat of Central Queensland, two childcare providers avoided going to jail.

After pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm, Tara Alyce Steers, 31, and Bianca Maree Reynolds, 32, received almost three-year sentences that were completely suspended.

On May 4 of last year, the three-year-old girl was picked up from her Gracemere home in Rockhampton and put on the bus when it reached the facility after 9 am. She was discovered by another employee just before 3 p.m. while they were getting ready for a run. The two employees were reprimanded by Judge Michael Rackmann for making no inspections before leaving the girl.

According to Rackmann, "This was not a case of a negligent check; it was a case in which no check was done at all."Nothing of course will ever take away the hurt and pain felt by the family as a result of the events of the day."

When Reynolds left her on the bus, the court was informed that she had been falsely signed in for the day.

The parents of the girl told 9News that they had to deal with the consequences on a daily basis.

"When you leave the living room, she will always ask, 'Where are you going?'" She says, "Don't leave me behind," believing that she will be left behind, the parent explained.

The girl and her family have emotional scars, and the professionals have post-traumatic stress disorder, the court was informed.

Further Reading: 
3 Year Old Found Unconscious On A Bus Parked Outside Childcare Centre Now Breathing On Her Own, Aussie Childcare Network, 6th May 2022

Childcare Workers Escape Jail Time After Leaving Toddler On Bus In Central Queensland, 9 NEWS Australia, 26th July 2023

Last modified on Monday, August 14, 2023
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