Family upset after child wanders away from Graham day care employees, ends up near busy street

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GRAHAM, N.C. — The family of a 2-year-old under the watch and care of a Graham day care is upset after finding out their son wandered away and wound up near a busy street and nearby highway.

Makayla and Patton Evans IV told FOX8 their toddler, Patton, was enrolled in Clarence Kids Academy Daycare on Riverbend Road in Graham. The toddler wandered away from a group of classmates who were all outside working on an art activity Wednesday morning.

“There was a small child I would say roughly 2 or 3 wandering beside the road near a child day are center,” said someone who called the 911 dispatch.

A woman spotted the two-foot toddler near the intersection of Teer and Riverbend Road Wednesday morning around 11:30 a.m.

“That could have been my child’s life,” said Makayla Evans, as she processed the situation during an interview.

The director of the day care told FOX8 children were outside for an art activity when Patton took off. She also said the child never left the day care premises. The statement sent to FOX8 also made mentioned that the teacher brought the child back with the group after realizing he was out of the designated area.

Patton’s parents want more of an explanation of how he got out of his teacher’s sight and near a busy road.

“He could have gotten hit. You know normally this isn’t how this story would go,” Makayla Evans said.

The 2-year-old is back to his normal self running around in the playground Friday afternoon, but his parents want to personally thank the person that spotted him, called authorities and made sure he was safe.

“I feel like we got really lucky,” Patton Evans IV said.

According to state inspections online, the facility got an unannounced visit from the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education just last week revealing several staff training violations. The violations were centered around childcare providers not having adequate training for things like CPR, SIDS, and not providing background checks for some staff members.

In the statement sent to FOX8 from the day care, management said they plan to review their supervision policy with staff members and re-evaluate the areas that will be designated for outdoor activities to better ensure the safety of all children. The day care has also notified their state consultant of the incident.

Here is a link of all North Carolina licensed day care facilities inspections.

The Graham Police Department is still investigating this case to see if any charges are necessary.

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