The toddler was found “roaming the street” by himself after he escaped Hillsides Secret Garden Day Nursery in Bristol and was discovered by a delivery driver and a passer-by
A two-year-old boy was found “roaming the street” by himself after he managed to escape his nursery on his own.
The toddler was discovered by a delivery driver and a passer-by on Monday and later returned to Hillsides Secret Garden Day Nursery in Bristol by its staff, who soon realised he was missing. Resident, Jason Brown, said to Bristol Live he met the delivery driver who found the boy wandering solo near his home, thinking at first that the child was his son.
Jason said: “I was walking down my road and was about 20-30 feet from my front door. Opposite my house, there’s a little patch of green and I saw a lady with a high visibility jacket on, pick this little boy up. I thought nothing of it, she had a hi-vis on, I thought she was just a teacher. As I was walking to my door, she walked across the road to me and asked if this was my child. I said no, it’s not, and asked her what had happened. She told me she had just seen him on his own wandering around and that she’s a delivery driver.”
Jason then invited the woman and the boy into his home. He added: “He had no shoes on and no coat. I put a coat and a blanket around him, and put some cartoons on to make him feel comfortable. And I rang 999 straight away.” Soon after, a police officer came and took the little boy and nursery staff back to the nursery. Police say the officer spoke to staff about the nursery’s security arrangements and made a safeguarding referral to South Gloucestershire Council. The child’s parents were also informed.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Police were called at 12.34pm on Monday, February 5 by a man reporting that a child had been found alone in the street and he was looking after the toddler at an address in Leicester Square, Soundwell. At 12.40pm he told the call handler that a member of staff from a nearby nursery was with him and the child. Officers attended and established the toddler had managed to leave the day care centre in Gladstone Street and staff had been out looking for the child. The officers accompanied the child and the staff member back to the unit and spoke to staff there about security arrangements. The child’s parents were informed. Officers made a safeguarding referral to South Gloucestershire Council.”
A spokesperson from Hillsides Secret Garden Nursery expressed their distress, saying: “Everyone at the nursery is devastated by the incident on Monday. No such event has ever occurred here before. The nursery has acted quickly to put changes in place to ensure it can never happen again. We thank the two members of public who helped, especially the gentleman that allowed the child and three members of the team to wait in his house.”
The regulatory body, Ofsted, wrote a report published on Wednesday, February 7, that states: “On 5 February 2024, the provider notified us that a child was able to leave the nursery for a short period before the child was safely returned. The notification means that the provider met their legal responsibility as set out in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage to notify Ofsted of a significant event. On 7 February 2024, we carried out a regulatory telephone call. We found the provider was not meeting some of the requirements and had taken action to put this right.
“The provider immediately installed an alarm on the front door and has had spring arms fitted to both front doors. The provider has had an additional gate installed on the path leading out of the nursery garden and has a new safety gate on the toddler room door that closes more easily. Risk assessments have been reviewed and shared with staff and a meeting has been planned to review the incident. The provider will be able to give parents further information about this.”