Day care shuts down after boy found alone on the streets; workers allegedly didn’t know he left

A day care in Ohio has voluntarily shut down after a boy was found wandering the streets unsupervised.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 11:17 AM PDT
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CLEVELAND (WOIO/Gray News) - A day care in Ohio has shut down after a little boy was reportedly found wandering alone on the streets. Day care employees allegedly did not even know he was gone.

The lights are out and the doors locked at Brilliant Beginnings Child Care Center in Cleveland.

The day care’s owner voluntarily shut it down on May 9.

Malika Risely told WOIO just days before that her 5-year-old son, Giovanni, somehow got out of the day care and was almost hit by a car while walking alone down the street.

“I am ecstatic that they are shut down,” Malika Risely said.

WOIO reports that the employees at Brilliant Beginnings were unaware Giovanni was gone. Risely said they didn’t even call her to tell her he was missing, and she instead got a call from another parent.

“When I first got the call, I felt like my heart dropped to my stomach,” Risely said. “I was scared like any other mother would be. I was scared. I didn’t know how to feel.”

Fortunately, police found Giovanni safe.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Brilliant Beginnings closed after the original report from WOIO.

The department released a statement saying that, due to the allegations brought forth by the news outlet and others, the day care said it was “permanently closing their program.”

“My son got the justice I was looking for,” Risely said.

Risely said she trusted the day care with her son, believing they would protect him at all costs.

“For them to sit there and say that you’ll have no worries with him in there and he will be fine in there, we got him and we will keep a close eye on him, and for that to happen really messed up my head,” she said.

Risely is now urging every mother to do research on their choice of day care provider.

“I really want women to be careful where they send their kids to school and stuff like that because you never know what could happen,” she said. “Take that as an example.”

Brilliant Beginnings can’t reopen without applying and being approved for a new license.

Until school starts in September, Giovanni will stay in the care of family and friends during the day while his mom is at work.