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Daycare Tragedy Spurs Expansion Of Safety Program

MIAMI ( – The death of 22-month-old Dominicue Andrews has renewed calls for more safety procedures to prevent another tragedy like Dominciue's. Because of the death, a program created in South Florida to help save children's live has just been expanded.

It was more than just a special delivery to a child care center in Coral Gables; the supplies dropped off can save a child's life. The items delivered to the Biltmore School are constant reminders for anyone to look before they lock their car. The items include hang tags, window screens and stickers that read "Look before you Lock."

"You have it in your car. You have it in your window. Something like that is a good approach to really reminding you," said Gina Romero who runs the Biltmore School.

Last year in Delray Beach, there was a tragedy when two-year-old Haile Brockington died after being left alone in a hot day care van. The incident prompted the Early Learning Coalition, which facilitates education to children in our community, to take action.

"Florida is one of the top states where children and being left in vehicles and cars. They are being left unattended," said Tabatha Cullen of the Early Learning Coalition.

The program has caught on, not only locally, but nationally. It has attracted attention and hopefully will save lives. But, according to the Coalition, Jomiba Learning Center where Andrews died was among the centers who had not yet taken advantage of the free look before you lock materials.

"We went immediately after the next day when we received the news and explained to them in person that their contract was being terminated immediately," said Cullen.

The Jomiba Learning Center has had funding since November 2010. They used to receive $3,000 per student, totaling $30,000 a month; but now the center is serving as an example of what could happen if a very important message is ignored.

"If we could just save one life or help one child not get ill as a result of this, it means everything," said Cullen.


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