Apologies, warnings after toddler is left alone at Riviera Beach day care

The two-year-old girl was unharmed after incident

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. -- A Riviera Beach day care staff went home for the night on March 22, leaving a toddler behind, alone.

Day care officials spoke Thursday night out about what went wrong and what they are doing to fix it.

The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County questioned officials from Life Span Day Care in Riviera Beach about how a toddler could have been left alone in that facility for hours. Two year old Sa'Mya Brown was left inside the North Congress Avenue facility in late March. The employees there had all gone home for the night, overlooking the child, who was said to be sitting quietly behind a bookcase.

The executive director responded to county officials Thursday, about how it happened and about how she and her staff are working to prevent anything like it again. The board gave Terri Mitchell a warning and also said the facility will be monitored closely for at least the next four months.

"Life Span fully accepts responsibility for the events of March 22, and we are truly sorry for any pain, sorrow, or stress that the situation has caused the child and her family," said Terri Mitchell, Executive Director. "We would also like to apologize to our families, our funders, our supporters and the child care industry of Palm Beach County."

Mitchell, who founded Life Span in 1993, said she and her team are implementing a multi-pronged plan to improve their facility's operation. New training for staff, better electronic and manual tracking of children and new security measures have already been implemented.

NewsChannel 5 has confirmed that at least one life span employee resigned after what happened. The facility is not facing any other kind of disciplinary action, aside from being monitored by the board here for four months to make sure the day care and it's employees stay on track.

The toddler was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center the night of the incident as a precautionary measure.  She was uninjured. Her family, meanwhile, has hired an attorney and has not yet weighed in on the Thursday's developments.

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