Local News

Mother Says 20-Month-Old Walked Out Of Daycare, Found In Busy Highway

Posted November 11, 1998

— When you leave your child at daycare, you expect he or she will be safe, but a 20-month-old girl staying at a Hope Mills daycare was put into harm's way Tuesday afternoon.

It is a frightening story. The mother of the little girl says her daughter walked out of Burns Daycare, right into the path of traffic on busy Hope Mills Road. What is even more frightening and infuriating, the mother says the daycare lied about what happened.

"She told me Santana got out the door and down the steps, and they were right behind her," said Bobbie Britt, the child's mother.

But Britt has since found out that is not what happened to her daughter Santana. According to a police report, the 20-month-old was picked up in the middle of busy Hope Mills Road by a passing motorist and brought back to Burns Day Care.

"Parents need to be aware that this did happen. Their children are there. They didn't tell me. What is to say they are going to tell others when it happens to their child? I think they need to lose their license," Britt said.

The mother of two has filed a complaint, and theState Division of Child Developmentis trying to figure out how it happened.

According to records, this is not the first complaint filed against the Hope Mills daycare. In 1995, Burns Daycare received a written warning on non-compliance and was warned and fined on a child neglect claim. There is also a current probe into a 1998 child neglect allegation.

The director and owner of the daycare would offer no comment.

But, they did tell Sheriff's deputies the child got outside in the driveway but not the road. But Santana's mother believes the passerby who she refers to as her daughter's guardian angel.

"I didn't even give her a hug when I left, and I thought that could have been the last time I ever saw her breathe or talk," said Britt.

Luckily, Santana was not hurt. Her mother has changed daycares and is now considering taking legal action against Burns Daycare.

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