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Boy, 2, unharmed after daycare forgot him in north-end park

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Author: 
Croucher, Philip
Publication Date: 
5 May 2010
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EXCERPTS

A local daycare that left behind a toddler at a north-end Halifax
park yesterday says it will no longer be allowing children under its
care to leave its site.

Two teachers at Kids and Company daycare on Barrington Street
took a group of 10 toddlers out for a walk off-site yesterday morning to
Fort Needham Memorial Park, and left one behind.

Police were called and the two-year-old boy was located,
unharmed, by several neighbours around 10:45 a.m. Halifax Regional
Police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter estimated the child was alone for
10 to 15 minutes.

Victoria Sopik, CEO of the Toronto-based Kids and Company, said
yesterday because of this incident, the company is stopping the practice
of daycare workers taking kids off-site for walks to parks or
playgrounds. She said it was "unbeknownst to us" the practice was even
happening in Halifax, adding it goes against Kids and Company's
corporate policy.

"It's well accepted in Halifax, but it is a contravene of our
policy," she said.

"They must remain in their fenced-in area."

Sopik said the toddler was left behind after the two teachers
improperly counted the number of children as they were leaving the park.
She said the teachers - who "have been disciplined" for their actions -
realized they left the child behind as they were walking back to the
daycare.

"Well, when you're walking with a group of children, what can you
do. It's not like you can rush everybody back. So they had to call
police, which was the right thing to do," Sopik said.

"(But) that's the problem," she later added. "It's not like I can
get in my car and drive. I have these children I'm looking after and
you can't leave one teacher with a whole group of children. That's the
reason we feel it's not a good plan."

Sopik said the parents of the lost boy were made aware of the
situation and "have been very good about it and understanding." She also
said an email was sent to parents with children at the Halifax location
advising them of what took place.

- reprinted from the Metro Halifax

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Entered Date: 
19 May 2010
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