The Maryland Department of Education is investigating a Bethesda day care facility after four toddlers apparently wandered off into a nearby neighborhood, according to The Gazette.
MDE is investigating the Montgomery Child Care Care Association, which manages the where the incident occurred, The Gazette reported Thursday.
Wendy Rhein, whose 2-year-old son attends the center, told Patch that she arrived to pick up her son to find that he and three other toddlers had wandered away. They were being walked back to school by a Good Samaritan.
“I am physically ill when I think about what could have happened to these kids,” Rhein told Patch in an e-mail.
Montgomery County’s Child Welfare Services also could be investigating the incident, according to county spokeswoman Mary Anderson, though she was unable to speak on the specifics of the case.
“If somebody had a complaint or there was suspicion of abuse or neglect in a child care setting, you wouldn’t have child welfare investigating without also having [the DOE Office of Child Care] investigating,” Anderson told Patch. “They would be communicating with one another.
“The State’s Attorney’s Office would have to decide if a certain situation is a criminal act of neglect or abuse,” she said
The Montgomery Child Care Care Association has issued a statement saying the teachers involved have been fired. When reached Friday, Bethesda Lynbrook Children’s Center referred media questions to a PR group.