Report: 3-year-old with Down syndrome left daycare, found wandering near pond

A recently released report revealed a close call at a daycare in Hopkins, Minnesota.

According to the report, a 3-year-old child with Down syndrome and a feeding tube walked away from a KinderCare and was found by a community member a short time later.

At about 5 p.m. on May 24, employees realized the 3-year-old was no longer in the playground area. Employees immediately started searching for the child.

Later, a community member said he found the child in a pond. The report states the toddler was wet, likely from sitting in the pond that was three to four inches deep. The pond is about 75 feet from the playground.

As a result, the Department of Human Services determined there was “maltreatment determined as to neglect of the alleged victim by the facility,” and a $1,000 fine was issued.

The daycare determined the policies and procedures were adequate, but were not followed at that time. So, the daycare added more training and extra fencing in the area.

In a statement, KinderCare wrote, "In May, a child from our preschool class was able to leave our playground through a small gap between our fence and the gate that faces the neighboring apartment complex….we informed the child’s parents and self-reported the concern to state licensing. The teacher who was supervising no longer works for KinderCare.”