A longtime Windsor bus driver has been fired after a four-year-old girl was left on a school bus for about three hours after school.

Buskids general manager Gabrielle McMillan says the unidentified driver, who has been driving a school bus for 16 years, did not follow proper protocol.

According to Buskids policy, the driver is supposed to check all of the seats of the bus to make sure they are empty. A sign is then placed at the back of the bus in the parking lot.

The child's mother, JoAnne Chartier, tells AM800 she became aware of the situation once she went to her daughter's daycare to pick her up on Monday.

She claims the daycare said her daughter, Ellery, never got off the bus.

CTV Windsor reached out to the Toy Box Daycare and owner, operator Anna Raymond released this statement; “There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of the children in our care. We were deeply shaken by yesterday's events and have initiated a comprehensive review to determine what steps can be taken to ensure this type of incident does not happen again.”

The statement goes on to say “In our fifteen years of operation, The Toybox Early Childhood Education Centre has never experienced a similar issue with our transportation provider," said the statement.  "We have rigorous policies and procedures in place to protect the safety and well-being of the children in our care. In this instance, the Pearson Bus Lines' driver did not follow the established protocol. Regardless of who is at fault, we sincerely apologize to the Chartier family.”

Chartier says she contacted her daughter's school, confirmed she was on the bus and then called police and the bus company.

CG Pearson Buses Ltd. manager Ryan Pearson tells CTV News the child was picked up at Giles Campus and was supposed to be dropped off at the daycare.

Chartier says it took about an hour for officials to find the bus and her daughter once she realized she was missing.

Sgt. Steve Betteridge says Windsor police were involved, but there was no criminality. He says the child fell asleep on the bus.

The child was found safe. 

Pearson Buses is setting up an emergency contact line as the investigation continues and will submit a report to Buskids as to what happened.

“We are working with the schools and daycares making sure that our information is available to everyone and more readily available,” says Pearson. “So we are able to react as quickly as we can to any type of situation even for an afterhours call like we experience last night.”