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Multiple toddlers found wandering outside of daycare center in Glendale

By Jessica Goodman

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    GLENDALE, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — Six to eight toddlers were found wandering alone near 43rd and Olive avenues on Monday morning near a roadway outside of a daycare in the area. Glendale police say they received a call from a concerned citizen who was driving in the area at around 10:30 a.m. When officers arrived at the area, the toddlers had already been taken back to Happy Dayz daycare. Officers spoke with the citizen and the staff at Happy Dayz, along with two other people who had seen the toddlers, believed to be between 1 and 3 years old, wandering around. Those two other people told officers that they got out of their cars and helped bring the toddlers back to the daycare safely. One of the staff members also came out of the daycare to help them with wrangling the kids.

Police say that a staff member believed a gate had been left open and that is where the kids escaped. When the kids escaped, the gate apparently shut and the staff members were unable to reopen it, according to police. Witnesses told officers that it seemed like the staff members were completely unaware that the toddlers were even missing in the first place.

“After they had escaped, they had gotten into the road, they had been brought back from the road. Nobody was still out there, nobody was aware that they were gone,” said Alexis Tatman, a Good Samaritan passing by. “I don’t think they should ever have the opportunity to put other people’s children in harm the way that they did. I want the state, and I want everyone included who has the power to hold them to higher standards. Help them be better.”

Police say they cannot charge any of the workers at the daycare but they took an incident report and will be following up with the Arizona Department of Health Services Child Care Facilities and Licensing.

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