Childcare review recommended

THE death of funny and affectionate three-year-old Jayden Matthew Lynch has led a coroner to recommend government agencies do more to ensure childcare operating standards.

Jayden, who lived at Yamba, died on December 15, 2008, after failing to wake from an afternoon sleep at a daycare centre.

A three-day inquest into his death was held in September, with findings handed down in Sydney yesterday by Deputy State Coroner Scott Mitchell.

Childcare worker Kerrie Pemberton gave evidence during the inquest Jayden had spent the morning playing, doing puzzles and paintings, and singing Christmas songs before taking his afternoon nap, from which he never awoke.

“She bent down to rouse him and saw that his lips were blue and his face very white,” Mr Mitchell said of Mrs Pemberton.

“She saw that he had wet the bed, felt that he was clammy and noticed that he was not breathing.”

Mr Mitchell found Jayden died from asphyxia secondary to epilepsy, either at the care centre or in an ambulance en route to hospital. The youngster had a history of seizures, most of which had occurred while he was asleep and were sometimes linked to an elevated temperature.

On the morning of his death, Jayden’s mother Cyndi Lynch gave him a medication after noticing he had an elevated temperature. She later left the child with Mrs Pemberton asking to be phoned if there were any problems.

“I have no doubt that (Mrs Lynch) did keep Mrs Pemberton fully informed in great detail about Jayden’s health status,” Mr Mitchell said.

The inquest closed with three recommendations made to NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney.

Among them, Mr Mitchell called on the NSW Family Day Care Association and other peak bodies to inform and educate members of their duties and obligations.

He also urged carers to ensure effective supervision of children while awake and asleep, along with the development and maintenance of written records outlining children’s medical conditions.

The deputy coroner also called on Community Services to ensure registered carers understand and comply with regulations.

Mr Mitchell said he hoped the recommendations ‘will form part of Jayden’s legacy’.

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