Every parent’s worst nightmare: Family ‘beyond disgusted’ after toddler escapes from Melbourne child care centre and is found wandering near a busy road
- A child escaped from Nido Early School in Werribee for second time in months
- Maisie found wandering around outside by a parent dropping off their child
- Furious family say Maisie and her cousins won’t be returning to the centre
- Centre and education department have launched investigation into incident
A furious family has demanded answers after a little girl escaped from a child care centre and was found wandering in a public car park near a busy main road.
Two-year-old Maisie was left unsupervised for three minutes at Nido Early School in Werribee in Melbourne’s west on Tuesday morning.
It’s understood the toddler escaped through a bathroom during routine maintenance and walked through an unlocked side gate into a busy car park shared with a medical centre, rehab and mental health facilities and several Covid testing centres. An unfenced waterway is also nearby.
A parent dropping her child off at the time luckily spotted Maisie wandering around and returned her to the centre.
Maisie’s family was left shaken by the harrowing ordeal which could have ended in tragedy.
Little Maisie escaped from the child care centre through an unlocked side gate into a public car park near a busy main road
‘Could you imagine if something had happened? She could have been hit by a car, I just can’t put it into words,’ grandfather Duncan Reed told Nine News.
‘I’m so disappointed by the way we have been treated, the way the children have been treated.
‘It’s not fair. Just tell the truth guys.’
It’s the second incident in five months a child has been found wandering outside on their own.
The family claims the centre initially informed parents Maisie was simply left unattended.
‘Unattended and getting out of the centre are two different things,’ Mr Reed said.
He dropped off Maisie earlier that morning as her mum Katrin is currently in hospital.
Maisie’s grandfather Duncan Reed (pictured with the toddler) has demanded answers
Ms Reed is ‘ beyond disgusted’ about what happened to Maisie.
‘I was not notified until an hour later when a member of staff I have a good relationship with came on shift so that she had to be the one to tell me,’ she posted on Facebook.
‘She was supposedly only out for three minutes however the centre won’t supply me with the CCTV footage of the incident.
‘I’m beyond disgusted with Nido Werribee especially considering the same thing happened five months ago with another child.’
Ms Reed also claimed a ‘very brief’ incident report sent seven hours after the incident had basic details wrong including Maisie’s date of birth and didn’t include details of the witness.
Other parents at the centre are also angry.
‘Disappointed that it’s happened again,’ one mum told Nine News
Nido Early School in Werribee (pictured) has launched an investigation into Maisie’s escape while left unsupervised
Nido Early School has launched an investigation into the incident.
‘The service is working closely with the family, educators, and the Department of Education and Training to investigate the situation and make all relevant changes to process moving forward,’ a letter to parents stated.
‘Please know that we are consulting with as many people as possible, including management and support office staff to identify any possible risks and will work swiftly to ensure any required changes are completed as soon as possible.’
The Department of Education and Training added: ‘The health and safety of all children in early childhood centres is our top priority.’
The Reed family say Maisie and her two cousins won’t be returning to the centre.
They hope to track down the parent who found Maisie to thank them personally.
‘This could’ve been so much worse if they hadn’t been there and realised she wasn’t with an adult and took her back to the centre,’ a relative wrote.
Katrin Reed (pictured with daughter Maisie) says she wasn’t notified until an hour later