Management investigates preschoolers’ escape from Palmerston North daycare

By | July 31, 2015

A child care centre is currently reviewing its safety measures after two preschoolers escaped from one of its emergency exit.

On July 24th, the two kids were able to unlock the gate at The CubbyHouse Early Childhood Centre in Palmerston North and crossed the Pioneer Highway.

The daycare takes care of children between the age of zero to five.

According to Radio New Zealand, the pair managed to open an emergency exit and go out across a busy four-lane road.

The two kids were shortly found safe in the car part of a shopping centre 300 metres down the road.

Simon and Jane Pervan, owners of the daycare, sent a letter to parent saying: “The children have opened the gates by one child unlatching the ground bolts and the other child getting a leg-up on the perspex to reach the two bolts at the top. This appears to have happened very quickly.”

The owners, who said that they were shocked that the incident happened, said that as a requirement of their fire evacuation scheme the said gates are unlocked during open hours because they serve as emergency access.

“We believed the height of the gates and the four bolts required to be unlatched ensured that children would not be able to open these,” they added, saying that all of the daycare’s exit points had been approved by authorities.

The Ministry of Education is also currently working with the owners of the daycare.

Katrina Casey, the ministry’s Head of Sector Enablement and Support, told reporters that the daycare has made immediate changes to its practice.

“We will be meeting with the service again as our investigation progresses. We will be discussing with them any further changes needed to ensure children are safe,” she said. “Children’s health and safety is of paramount importance. We act immediately if there are concerns about children’s health and safety.”