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State inspectors found a "serious risk" deficiency at the Perrysburg YMCA day care a few days after a child left the day care undetected and was picked up by police.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, which oversees day cares statewide, inspected the YMCA Adventure Center at 210 E. South Boundary St. on Sept. 30, three days after the child fled the day care and was found by police within 20 minutes, before the day care notified police of the missing child, age 2.
"During the inspection, it was found that children were not supervised, in that a child was left unattended when he was able to leave the room, and building, and staff were unaware of the incident," read the on-site inspection report from the state. "Children must be supervised and within sight and hearing of a child care staff member at all times."
The agency ordered the YMCA to initiate staff training and to provide a written description of the corrective action by Oct. 30. Serious violations need to be fixed immediately but the business is usually given 30 days to provide written notice, said Benjamin Johnson, a Job and Family Services spokesman.
He said this type of non-compliance finding "does not happen frequently" in state inspections.
Jennifer Ruple, marketing director for the YMCA of Greater Toledo, said the YMCA appreciates the recommendations from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and will fully comply with the state's directive.
"We're in the process of training and we've had some meetings about the recommendations. We're continuing to develop the training," Ms. Ruple said. "We're always looking for ways to improve."
She couldn't comment on personnel issues, but said there were "proper disciplinary actions taken," following the incident.
The state agency's previous unannounced inspections at the YMCA day care found no serious compliance issues. In a Sept. 17 inspection, 10 days before the missing-boy incident, two paperwork problems were cited in the inspection report.
On Sept. 27, Perrysburg police got a call from a resident about a young boy walking alone near Louisiana Avenue, which is where police found him. Minutes earlier the boy had been at the YMCA day care. The child was reunited with his father that day.
Wood County Children Services also is investigating the incident, but its findings are confidential. The county reviews its cases with the prosecutor's office if it believes there could be a criminal charge. The prosecutor's office makes the decision about whether to pursue criminal charges, and the children's services can file the status of the offense between abuse, neglect, or dependency.