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2-year-old wanders outside of Rocky River daycare, mom asks for accountability

“It makes me sick because if it wasn’t for her, who knows where my daughter would be right now."
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Posted at 10:15 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 23:21:58-05

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Rocky River Police were called to The Nest Schools in Rocky River on Hilliard Blvd. last Tuesday after a woman reported two toddlers wandering in the street.

Annette Pena’s 2-year-old daughter Ellie was one of the toddlers who got out of the daycare. Pena is still in shock over the incident.

She is the mom of three energetic, sweet, little girls. Ellie is her youngest. She’s been taking Ellie and her sister to The Nest for about a year.

“Daycare is extremely important and they love it. I think it’s good to socialize them,” she said.

Last Tuesday, though, she got a call she never expected from a daycare worker, telling her Ellie and another 2-year-old boy got outside of the facility.

“You’re just like how did this happen? Are they really telling the truth? How long were they outside? I wanted to know everything,” she said.

Rocky River Police reports indicate that a little before 4 p.m. on Nov. 15 a woman spotted the two toddlers outside. She brought the two back inside. Officers learned the two got out from a back door due to the oversight of a cook. The officers made sure the doors in the facility were secure before leaving.

Pena said she wasn’t called until after the police left and that the daycare downplayed the situation. She took to Facebook to ask if anyone knew the woman who saved her baby girl.

“I wanted the thank the lady that saved her and made her go back inside and sure she was safe and to figure out, also, what happened,” she said.

The woman told her she was driving and her 9-year-old daughter saw the two toddlers dangerously close to crossing Wooster Road. She told Pena another woman pulled over around the same time and grabbed the little boy’s hand and she grabbed Ellie’s hand and took them back to safety.

“That intersection is crazy busy,” said Pena. “It makes me sick because if it wasn’t for her, who knows where my daughter would be right now. It was cold outside. They could’ve got hit. They could’ve got anything.”

Brittany Madonna of The Nest Schools sent News 5 this statement:

The health and safety of the children in our care is our highest priority. We deeply regret this event happened regardless of its brief nature. We continue to evaluate all aspects of this event and have already implemented changes to ensure that something like this will never happen again.

Pena said she isn’t sure if she’ll ever be able to trust a caregiver again.

“I have no idea what the next step is with care,” she said. “I don’t leave her side. I’ve been giving all my kids extra loving.”

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