Day care closes days after incident

Noah's Ark DayCare Center and Kindergarten on College Park Road, where a 2-year-old girl got out of the building and was found running in the road July 6.

LADSON -- A day care center announced it is closing, days after a 2-year-old girl wandered away from the facility onto a busy road.

Noah's Ark Child Development Center sent out a letter dated July 12 telling all of its parents it will close July 31.

"Due to the economic downturn this decision becomes one of economic necessity," according to a letter written by Harriet P. McLaurin, owner's representative for the facility.

A day care employee confirmed the validity of the letter but declined further comment.

The S.C. Department of Social Services investigated the facility for violations of "operating policy" and "improper supervision," the sixth and seventh complaints the company has received in the past two years. A DSS representative could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The child's mother told The Post and Courier last week that DSS representatives said they helped the center bolster its security and planned on making more unexpected visits.

Stacey Paul said she would not allow her daughter, who turns 3 later this month, to return to the center after she heard a witness's account of what happened.

Jeannette Jacobs said she was driving on College Park Road about 9:30 a.m. July 6 when she saw the little girl running toward her in the opposite lane. Jacobs said she jumped out of her car and waved down a utility truck that was bearing down on the child.

Jacobs said she escorted the uninjured girl back to the center, and two small children answered the door. No teachers were in sight, she said.

Noah's Ark representatives have denied repeated interview requests.

The letter to parents said the day care hoped to reopen sometime in the future.

Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589, on Twitter at @AndyParas or on Facebook.