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Plaza Midwood daycare shut down by state after child neglect allegations

CHARLOTTE — A daycare in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood was shut down by state health officials after allegations of child neglect.

A mom told Channel 9′s Evan Donovan she pulled her kids out of Midwood Learning Academy on Central Avenue immediately after a video surfaced of kids piling into a car without car seats. One of those kids was her daughter.

Donovan learned several other parents did the same. Now, all the parents whose kids were there have been told the facility would be shutting down as of close-of-business Monday.

A post in a Facebook group started it all. Last Wednesday, the concerned mom who spoke to Donovan got a call from her friend who saw her 3-year-old daughter at Cordelia Park playing with other kids her age.

The child was seemingly without adult supervision until she noticed two people sitting in a car nearby.

“Just sitting in a sedan not paying attention at all to these kids,” the mom said. “They remained in the car, kids were just playing on their own at the park without any supervision.”

Her friend claims she smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Surveillance video shows her friend trying to confront the two adults as they began to gather the kids to leave. The friend took a Live Photo with her iPhone.

“You can see the teachers driving off in the car with the back door wide open, no kids buckled in, my daughter splayed across all the kids’ laps and they’re peeling out,” the mom said. “And it looks like she’s about to fall out of the car.”

Surveillance video shows the car driving away moments later.

The mother acknowledges that the daycare workers may have been alarmed by her friend asking to keep her daughter. However, she said she never even knew they were taking her kids off campus, and certainly not in a car without a car seat.

“I also had a bunch of moms and nannies in the area contact me saying over the past few weeks and months they’ve noticed this same group of kids at various parks, specifically at Cordelia and Veterans [Park],” she said.

Donovan went to Veterans Park and heard that same thing from the first nanny he talked to.

“Oh yes, when they come in a car, without car seats or seat belts,” she said.

The mom said she filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Health of Human Services. The agency suspended the facility’s license as of Monday evening, saying it has, “determined that emergency action is required to protect the health, safety and welfare of children.”

(WATCH BELOW: Daycare staffing shortage Charlotte leaves parents scrambling)

Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.