Child walks out of daycare in Coon Rapids, tries to go home

A Coon Rapids, Minn. childcare center says it is looking into an incident that took place Monday morning where a child escaped its facility and tried to walk home.

According to New Horizon Academy, a child walked out of a preschool classroom and tried to walk to his nearby home. An anonymous witness told Fox 9 the child crossed four lanes of traffic on Hanson Boulevard and was found crying in someone’s front yard. The person knew the child, as he lives in the neighborhood, and returned him to the center.

“This morning, a preschool child left his classroom and walked a block to his home. He was returned safely to the center,” New Horizon Enterprises chief financial officer Penny Allen said in a statement. “We are looking into the incident and will take necessary action to continue to ensure the safety of the children in our care.”

The Minnesota Department of Human Services confirmed it has an open investigation at the New Horizon Academy in Coon Rapids, but would not provide further information due to data privacy rules.

The same childcare center was also investigated back in 2014 for an incident where a child ran out the front door and had to be chased down by staff. DHS determined there was not enough evidence to prove the childcare center did not do enough to protect the child.

The Coon Rapids Police Department was not called to the daycare Monday, but Capt. Jon Urquhart says the mother came to the station later to file a police report and inquire about “what was being done” about the situation.

According to DHS, childcare centers are not required by state law to have alarms or locking systems on doors. Staff, however, is required to have eyes and ears on children at all times.