Parents looking for answers as second child absconds from Werribee service

Parents looking for answers as second child absconds from Werribee service

by Freya Lucas

May 31, 2022

Parents from an early childhood education and care service in the Melbourne suburb of Werribee are seeking answers after the second instance in which a child left the service and was found outside by a passer by. 

 

In the most recent incident, which took place earlier this month, a two-year-old left the centre and was found “wandering” in a public car park adjacent to a major road. 

 

In the previous incident, which took place in December last year, a three-year-old was found some distance from the service by a member of the general public, who then called the service to ask if any children were missing. 

 

The two-year-old involved in the most recent incident is said to have been unsupervised for less than five minutes, and to have left the service through a bathroom while routine maintenance was being undertaken on the gardens, walking through an unlocked side gate and into the carpark, which is shared with a medical centre, rehabilitation centre, mental health facilities and “several” COVID-19 testing stations. 

 

An unfenced waterway is also close to the service, leaving family members thankful for the intervention of a fellow parent, who observed the child in the carpark and returned her to the service. 

 

In a letter to parents, the service said it will work closely with the family, educators involved and the Department of Education and Training to investigate the incident and make any relevant changes to prevent it from happening again. 

 

The provider declined to respond to media enquiries in relation to the incident which remains under investigation. Local coverage of this story may be accessed here.

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