If Little Eagles Day Care in Norfolk had been a licensed facility, child-care workers would have been trained not to put Dylan Cummings down for a nap on his stomach on two foam pads with an ill-fitting sheet. They would never have been allowed to jam 10 babies into a hot, cramped, unventilated 12-by-12-foot room that fire marshals labeled a utility closet.
In court documents, prosecutors argued that one caregiver was watching 10 infants on that April morning in 2010. In a licensed facility, state law requires one worker for every four infants. The worker left to eat her lunch two rooms away, prosecutors said. Dylan and the other babies went largely unattended for the next two and a half hours.
By the time the caregiver returned at 2 p.m., the 11-pound baby wearing a brown T-shirt that read “Beary Cute” had turned blue. At 2:10, after a janitor tried in vain to revive him, paramedics pronounced him dead. He was 7 weeks and 5 days old.