A Plymouth nursery said it has been left “devastated” after two toddlers escaped and one of them was found wandering next to busy dual carriageway.
Management from Busy Bees Nursery, which runs almost 400 nurseries for children up to five years old across the UK and Ireland, have confirmed they are investigating an incident that saw two "unsupervised" children leave the nursery in William Prance Road, Derriford, on Monday.
One of the youngsters is said to have been located quickly but the other was spotted by worried strangers walking next to traffic on the main road.
Devon and Cornwall Police has confirmed officers were called to William Prance Road shortly after 11am on 8 February after receiving reports of a young child "walking on his own”.
A spokesperson for the nursery said the safety and well-being of all its children is the company's “highest priority" and wants to assure parents that management will be taking all appropriate actions to ensure an incident like this never happens again.
According to reports on social media, a woman spotted the boy walking by the main road and stopped him walking into traffic, while another person stopped vehicles on the road.
A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said the boy was safely returned to the care of an adult a few minutes after they arrived at the scene.
Anita Wilden, operations director (South) for Busy Bees Nurseries, said the company is "devastated" that the incident took place and confirmed a "thorough investigation" is now under way.
She told Plymouth Live: "Whilst we are relieved that both children returned safely to the centre, this situation clearly should not have happened and we are taking the fact it did extremely seriously.
"We are devastated that this was able to happen and a thorough investigation is now under way.
"We contacted the parents of the children involved, as well as all other parents at the nursery to explain the situation and we are working with the authorities and regulators to establish the facts and we will take appropriate action where required.”
Wilden added: "The safety and well-being of all children in our care is our highest priority and we have robust policies in place to ensure situations such as this do not occur.
"Whilst we are relieved that both the children involved are safely back at nursery, we are determined to ensure this cannot happen again.”
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK News