Daycare scare as four year old boy escapes onto busy Riverside South street
Four year old boy escapes from Riverside South daycare. Found safe and sound
Published Friday, July 5, 2013 5:18PM EDT
A four year old boy slipped away from his school-based daycare in Ottawa earlier this week. He was found safe and sound by a passerby at the corner of a busy street in Riverside South. For several frantic minutes before that, daycare staff at Centre ÉducatifLa Clémentinesearched for the boy, not knowing that he had snuck out the door and wandered down the street. In the end it was Ottawa Police who brought him back to the daycare.
The incident happened around pick up time at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the daycare attached to Bernard-Grandmaître school on Spratt Road. One of the youngsters somehow slipped out the door unnoticed on his way home to find his mom.
"When we noticed that the child was missing,” says Carolle Lafrance, the director general of the daycare, “we ran all through the school and the yard and then we called the cops.”
Lafrance says some of the parents saw the child walking alone on the street but says no one stopped to ask or help. She says it took about 7 minutes by the time they realized the boy was missing to the time police found him at the corner of Spratt Road and Canyon Walk Drive.
An eternity given the boy's age and the amount of traffic on the road.
“I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something bad happened,” says Lafrance, “that is bad enough. I hope I don't have to go through that again.”
The daycare sent letters home to inform parents. Gordon Broderick’s 4 year old daughter attended the daycare until last week. He had not heard of the incident.
"I'm surprised to hear that,” says Broderick, “because they have been good to get parents sign in and out and the supervision has been good.”
The daycare also informed the Ministry of Education about the incident. Ottawa Police say the boy was fine and there was no reason to continue with an investigation.
"There's no allegations towards criminal charges,” says Constable Chuck Benoit, “the investigation has been closed from standpoint of investigators.”
The non-profit daycare has about 180 kids, from toddlers to school-aged children. They plan to buy walkie-talkies to help educators monitor the kids and will implement a different drop off and pick up plan for parents.
Some centers like Mothercraft Child Care Centre, have installed buzzers on the play yard doors to ensure someone knows when a child leaves the building. Still, the director of child care says kids slipping out is a constant worry.
"We're constantly counting and verifying who's with us,” says Janet Libbey, “we never move from point ‘A’ to ‘B’ without a head count.
Parents who contacted CTV Ottawa say they want to make sure this never happens again either.
As for the little boy, he had no idea the commotion he caused by a little trip home.