The mother of a toddler who was able to escape a nursery in Eastcote has revealed he was only led to safety when a parent at a different nursery found him.
My Mum’s Away @ Cavendish, on Field End Road, is temporarily closed after the 19-month-old boy wandered out of the building on his own on Monday April 25.
Staff were said to be unaware that the boy had escaped, and he was spotted by a mother of a child who attends a neighbouring nursery.
The woman who found the boy, who asked not to be named, said: “I just did what anyone else would do.
“My son attends the nursery next door to My Mum's Away, and I had dropped him in off in the morning at about 9.05am and was there for 10 minutes.
“As I left, I noticed around the side of the building that there was this tiny little boy just wandering round to the front of the building.
“I naturally just assumed that his parents were dropping him off and were out the front and he'd run off, but as I went around the building there was absolutely no one there at all.
“Obviously, that run alarm bells - so I took him by the hand and said 'we need to find your mummy' and he just came with me really freely, which again was worrying.
Staff were 'horrified' when they realised
The woman took the boy to the back of the nursery, passing the gated play area with locked doors.
She said: “The staff weren't looking frantic or looking for him, they were just sitting down with the other children playing.
“It wasn't as if he'd been noticed, they were just carrying on as normal.
“I yelled across at them saying 'excuse me, are you missing someone?' and a lady stood up and she was horrified. She came out and she had to unlock a gate to bring him in.
"It's not on; anyone could have got hold of him. I was quite shaken and worried they weren't going to do anything about it.
“Anything could have happened to that child, he could have gone out on the road, as it's a public area. There are all manner of people walking up and down that road.”
'Every parent's worst nightmare'
The incident left the woman shaken for the rest of the day, and she said she is still shaken when she thinks about it.
She added: “Every other parent I've spoken to is horrified. It's every parents worst nightmare.
"You pay and you trust people in nurseries to take care of your child. They could at least keep them safe. I'm just glad that I found him and he's safe.
“He could have been out there for a couple of minutes. I don't think it was much longer because there were other people coming in from my nursery but it was enough time where he could have been picked up and no one would have noticed.”
Ofsted has now launched an investigation and and says the suspension, imposed on Tuesday May 3, will be lifted “if we are satisfied that children are no longer at risk”.
The mother of the 19-month-old, who dropped her son off at 9.05am, who also asked to remain anonymous, told getwestlondon she was told of the incident two hours later by text.
'Other parents must know what happened'
She said: “When I got back home I was in shock and shaken and I still am when I think about it. I spoke to Ofsted and informed them.
“I asked for the woman's (who found her son) number so I could thank her and when I spoke to her a timeline started to appear. She seemed shaken and said that he was heading towards Field End Road.
“I feel like I have a duty of care to other parents to make sure they're aware of exactly what happened.
“My son is very clingy after this and there's been a change in him.
“It's put fear in me and he won't be going anywhere now. I know that kids, if they see a door open, they're going to go for it. But if the priority of the nursery was the kids, it wouldn't have happened.”
The mother is too scared to put her son into another nursery for the time being.
She added: “If something else was to happen again in the future, it would break my heart that I didn't let parents know.
“Your worst nightmare as a parent is your child coming to harm, but the fact is that he was wandering and we don't know what happened in that time, and that's what's battling us.”