An Iowa mother who left her four children home alone to travel to Europe has been given two years' probation.

The Des Moines Register reports Erin Macke was sentenced Thursday in Polk County District Court. She could have faced up to eight years in prison.

The 31-year-old Macke of Johnston entered Alford pleas in February to four counts of child endangerment. In an Alford plea, a person doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

Police were called to her home in September by the children's father, who said the kids — two 12-year-olds, a 7-year-old and a 6-year-old — had been left alone the day before. Police say Macke failed to make child care arrangements before leaving Sept. 20 for a 10-day vacation in Germany.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com