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Daycare to resume bus service following Cairns tragedy

GOODSTART Early Learning will reinstate its bus services following a safety review after the tragic death of a child in Edmonton two weeks ago.

The bus service, which will restart Tuesday, was suspended following the devastating incident where a little boy died while in their care.

Chief executive officer Julia Davison said the organisation's primary focus in the past fortnight had been on the little boy's family as well as educators, families and children at the Edmonton Centres who had all been devastated by the tragedy.

The Goodstart Early Learning Centre at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The Goodstart Early Learning Centre at Edmonton. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

"In the past ten years we have cared for almost half a million children and we have never had a death of a child in our care and it has hit us really hard and our teams remain distressed," she said.

Ms Davison said Goodstart took its responsibilities for the safety of children extremely seriously and constantly reviewed and updated policies and procedures with regular staff training.

 

Members of the public have laid flowers and left teddies at the Goodstart Early Learning Centre, Edmonton, following the tragic death of a boy, 3, left in a minibus. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Members of the public have laid flowers and left teddies at the Goodstart Early Learning Centre, Edmonton, following the tragic death of a boy, 3, left in a minibus. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

The review led by Goodstart's national Safe Work team, has led to a number of changes being made to existing policies and nationwide mandatory refresher training has been rolled out.

There are now three clearly designated roles in the new bus procedure: Driver, supervisor and checker. Each will have specific roles and responsibilities.

 

Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, was granted bail after being charged with manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old boy allegedly left on a bus. Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, leaving the Cairns watch house with his solicitor Derek Perkins. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, was granted bail after being charged with manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old boy allegedly left on a bus. Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, leaving the Cairns watch house with his solicitor Derek Perkins. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

The staff member who has the supervisor role on the bus is now required to sit at the back of the bus for the whole journey and check the bus is empty as they move towards the door

A centre-based checker will inspect the bus upon its return to the centre, double-check the roll and check off the children and observe adherence to procedure by the driver and supervisor. Once the children are returned to the centre, the checker will take and upload photographs to show the bus is empty.

Goodstart Early Learning Edmonton centre director Michael Glenn Lewis, 45, and staff member Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, from Manunda, have both been charged with manslaughter.

They appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court last week and were granted bail. Both cases were adjourned until March 18.

Goodstart Early Learning employee Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, from Manunda leaves the Cairns watch house with her lawyer and a supporter after being granted bail. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Goodstart Early Learning employee Dionne Batrice Grills, 34, from Manunda leaves the Cairns watch house with her lawyer and a supporter after being granted bail. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN


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