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Benton County Day Care Shutdown

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

Camden, Tenn - State officials are investigating the operation of a day care in Benton County, said the Department of Human Services.

Officers accompanied officials Friday afternoon to shut down Whiz Kids day care in Camden, Tenn. The Tennessee Department of Human Services released a statement Monday saying they believed the day care was a danger to all children in its care, which is why it required emergency action. Right now the state is investigating an incident that involved a toddler escaping into the daycare parking lot said officials.

"They alleged that a child escaped and rumors were that the child was out for long time out in the road," said Will Taylor Hughes, Whiz Kids' Attorney.

Hugh said workers decided to report the incident even though the child was uninjured, which led the state to investigate further. Daycare owner Vicky Watson told 7 Eyewitness News that the child did escape through a locked door but was out for only a few moments before workers brought him back in. Watson said she has since taken additional steps to upgrade her day care security.

"They have made some safety procedures to the door that a child can't get the door unlocked again," said Hughes.

State officials met with the owner Monday morning to discuss a corrective plan of action. Officials said, upon the completion of the full plan, the owner will be able to reopen on probationary status.

Some residents said they were shocked at the accusations because they have always trust the workers there. "I think its a good place I have never seen any trouble or nothing out of anything over there," said Thomas Townsend, who lives in the area.

Neighbors said they weren't surprised by the accusations, because they watch and worry about the children in the daycare constantly. Some neighbors said they believe the lack of supervision puts children in danger next to the busy highway.

"I'm afraid they could get hit by a car or wonder off in the woods there and get bit by a snake," said Pat Frisbee, neighbor.

Child Protective Services released a statement that said, if the day care is reopened it will be under a mandatory probation period with additional training and inspection.

Parents with children in the day care told 7 Eyewitness News they were happy with the day care services and have struggled finding substitute childcare.