WEST BRIDGEWATER (CBS)- Two state agencies are now investigating a West Bridgewater day care where three toddlers walked away from a backyard playground.

The owner of the day care has already begun to make changes.

child care State Investigating Day Care After Toddlers Wander Away

Cowlicks And Pigtails Child Care Center (WBZ-TV)

“This is an unfortunate event and I’m thanking God no one got hurt,” Erica Kilcoyne, the owner of Cowlicks and Pigtails Child Care Center said.

Kilcoyne says this is the worst day of her career as a child care provider.

She is now under investigation by DCF and the Department of Early Education after three toddlers walked away from the daycare. The kids didn’t make it far before someone spotted them on the center’s front driveway.

“DCF took all my information today and of the four staff members,” Kilcoyne said.

kilcoyne State Investigating Day Care After Toddlers Wander Away

Erica Kilcoyne, owner of Cowlicks and Pigtails day care in West Bridgewater (WBZ-TV)

Kilcoyne said she immediately fired four of her staff members who were supposed to be closely watching the children.

“For negligence, I fired every single one of them,” Kilcoyne said.

Authorities are now investigating to make sure the center is complying with all health and safety requirements. She also informed all parents that she had to let some of her teachers go.

child care 2 State Investigating Day Care After Toddlers Wander Away

Cowlicks And Pigtails Child Care Center In West Bridgewater (WBZ-TV)

“The staff, they were loving, but they did not do their job which is why I let them all go,” Kilcoyne said.

Kilcoyne says she has 58 children at the center. After Monday’s incident one family pulled their child from the program.

“One parent decided to terminate their services, but the other two, they are still here,” Kilcoyne said.

Since the incident, Kilcoyne has installed security cameras, placed new padlocks on all the gates, conducted an emergency staff safety meeting, and is now watching over the children herself.

“I am hiring but I’m stepping up in the classroom myself,” Kilcoyne said.

Parents picking up their kids Tuesday stand by the center and its director.

“I feel completely safe leaving my son here and he’s had the best of care, and I’ve had no complaints,” parent Kelsey Sheehan said.

Kilcoyne is cooperating and working closely with the DCF. Police are not investigating and so far, no charges have been filed.

Paul Burton

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