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Virginia Beach daycare under investigation after child found outside unattended

A person who has a relative enrolled at the Bayside Christian Children's Learning Center told 13News Now that they found a toddler alone on an outside playground.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Authorities with Virginia Department of Social Services are looking into the practices of a day care in Virginia Beach, after a young child was reportedly left outside, alone and unattended.

The incident happened at Bayside Christian Children's Learning Center late Wednesday afternoon. However, public records show this is not the daycare's first run-in with Social Services.

13News Now spoke to the Good Samaritan, who found the child. They wanted to remain anonymous.

However, the Good Samaritan told 13News Now that they are a family member of someone enrolled at the daycare. They said they saw a toddler sitting over by playground equipment, with no adult around.

"I pretty much threw my car into park, left the door open and ran straight to the fence," the Samaritan said. 

There, they recall the young child walking up to them.

"You have to stick up for them. I would just hope that if it wasn't me, it would be someone right after me," the person told 13News Now.

The playground in question is fenced in and situated away from the main road, according to Church Reverend Rob Edwards. 

Edwards described the incident as an unfortunate oversight, saying two teachers accidentally left the child outside after playground time for approximately five to eight minutes. 

The pastor said those staffers are currently on administrative leave. He said daycare officials reported themselves to the Department of Social Services, following the incident. 

"We were able to respond to it very quickly," said Edwards, who added the child wasn't sure what was going on. "They were scared and understandably so, but they were not hurt. That’s what we’re very grateful for."

Edwards told 13News Now the child's family was made aware of what happened. 

"Anytime there's a concern about care for a child, there's a lot of emotion involved in that, and it's been an emotional time for us and for our staff as well."

This whole situation is prompting a mandatory staff re-training and because of that, the daycare won’t be open on Friday.

The Samaritan wants daycare leadership to learn from this and only raise standards, moving forward.

"I'm just hoping that some of the information given to the director could possibly be implemented," the Samaritan said. 

"[We are] reviewing all of our procedures and processes to make sure that we can do everything in our power to keep anything like this happening in the future," said Edwards. 

Public records accessible via the Department of Social Services website marks several incidents at Bayside Christian Church's daycare dating back several years.

Some of the latest were in April 2023 and 2022, as well as August of 2022, for violations of requirements such as staff-to-child ratios, staff health files and background check renewals.

Daycare leaders submitted correction plans, logs showed.

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