Day care to close after 6 toddlers wander away, some found on busy road

Posted at 4:38 AM, May 22, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A North Carolina daycare is slated to close after six children wandered away from the facility several months ago, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The paper reports that Pinedale Christian Day Care Inc. voluntarily contacted state officials to inform them that they would end operations by June 11.

The news comes after a Dec. 4, 2018, incident that left leaders at the school “devastatingly embarrassed.” A group of toddlers managed to slip out of an enclosed playground unnoticed. Five of the kids made their way to Peters Creek Parkway, a busy, 55-mph thoroughfare.

“It was disbelief, and it was shock, and then at some point, it was complete devastation,” Matthew Sink, minister at Pinedale Christian Church, told WGHP after the incident.

Sink said there was a class of 20 children at the playground being monitored by two teachers. Six of the children went through a door, into a church hallway, and made their way to the front doors of the church, where they went outside.

From there, five children went up a hill and were found alongside or on the busy parkway. One woman reported seeing a boy running down the center lane of the road, then noticed four other toddlers in the care of another driver who had pulled over after noticing the children.

A Winston-Salem police officer responding to a different call happened to come across the scene and later found a sixth child at the front doors of the church. That child was so young he was unable to figure out how to open the door to get outside.