Daycare under investigation for leaving boy, 4, at park

SENATOBIA, Miss. -- The Mississippi Department of Health and local police began investigating a Senatobia daycare Friday after records showed the facility left a child at a playground after a daytime outing.

WREG spoke with a woman who was at the playground. She said Peek-A-Boo Playschool actually almost left two kids; some moms spotted a girl alone as employees were about to leave. They brought her to the daycare van and employees were grateful. But 30 minutes later, they spotted another child, a boy, 4, alone.

“He was hiding in play area just whimpering to himself because knew he’d been left," she said. "Very scared, very upset."

She said they called the daycare and no one answered.

So they called police.

She took video of the boy hugging one of the moms who found him. After that, a Senatobia police officer escorted him off the playground.

“I don’t think all eyes were on all the kids all the time. There couldn’t have been,” the witness said.

Peek-A-Boo owner Amye Durham told WREG there were 25 kids at the playground accompanied by two adults, which is in accordance with Mississippi Department of Health requirements.

Durham took responsibility.

“They are to have a list of the children and check them off as they get on and off the van. That was not done today,” she said. “We have fired the employee. We’ve revamped our policies and procedures already.”

But Durham didn’t explain why the second employee wasn’t fired.

What’s more, the boy’s parents told WREG the daycare never notified them. The parents only found out about the incident when police showed up at their home more than three hours later.

It was the witness’s biggest fear, which prompted her to speak out.

“As a concerned mother I’d want to know. I’m concerned they’re not going to alert parents or anybody for that matter,” she said.

Others picking up their kids Friday didn’t know about the incident either.

Once WREG told them what happened, parents were divided.

"Any parent’s reaction is kind of shock,” Virginia Pitts said.

“Mine will still come here,” said Deanna Patrick, who says she has an autistic grandson.

Patrick praised the daycare's willingness to accommodate her grandson.

WREG requested Peek-A-Boo's record of reports from the Mississippi Department of Health. A spokesperson said it would be available Monday.

Other parents contacted WREG Friday stating they were never notified of injuries or others issues their children had while at Peek-A-Boo. If you have a similar story, contact reporter Stacy Jacobson at stacy.jacobson@wreg.com or on her Facebook page.