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September 10. 2013 9:19PM

Officials: Toddlers got under fence, near Route 202, at Peterborough child care center

PETERBOROUGH — Monadnock Community Early Learning Center is under investigation with the state Child Care Licensing Unit after two 3-year-olds were found outside the facility along Route 202.

The year-round child care center for children eight months to second grade is on Community Lane at Route 202.

Peterborough police Capt. Ernest Belletete said he responded to the child care center last Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. when a passing motorist reported two small boys were out by Route 202. The Peterborough woman stopped and brought the children back the center.

Belletete said when he arrived, the were boys inside the center; the woman who spotted them had left.

"There was some question whether these kids were in the road or not, but I don't have that information," Belletete said.

It appears the boys had crawled under the fencing because two pins that held the fencing down had come loose, Belletete said.

"The boy's aren't going to be able to tell us a whole heck of a lot," Belletete said, "For whatever reason, they were able to pull that fence up and crawl underneath it."

The director of the nonprofit child care center was made aware of the incident and plans to fix the fencing are underway, Belletete said.

He said there is no criminal investigation into the matter.

Kris Neilsen, communications director for the Child Care Licensing Unit, said Tuesday an investigation is ongoing, with many interviews still to be conducted.

In an email she said, "Once our Child Care Licensing Unit has all relevant information regarding the investigation — it is their policy to release a statement of findings to the program within 30 days — if there has been a rule violation. And at that time the information would be made public."

Debra Vaughan, executive director of Monadnock Community Early Learning Center, said Tuesday that the center is working with the state; she had no further comment.

According to the center's website, it was founded in 1970 and serves children from 26 towns.

mpierce@newstote.com


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