Kansas day care owner charged after unsupervised children found near pool, police say

MCPHERSON, Kan. — A day care owner in Kansas is accused of allowing children under her supervision to wander near a neighbor’s backyard pool, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

Tracy Shawndele Barr, 47, of McPherson, was charged with aggravated endangering a child and driving under the influence, KWCH-TV and The Wichita Eagle reported.

According to state records, Barr owns the Golden Explorers day care facility in McPherson, according to KWCH. She posted bail of $13,750 hours after being arrested, The Wichita Eagle reported.

According to a news release from the McPherson Police Department, officers responded after receiving a call at 10:48 a.m. CDT on Wednesday about young children and a dog unsupervised in a backyard near a pool. Officers found four children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old in the area, the release stated.

Police determined that the children had left the day care center and walked to the backyard, KWCH reported. Officers took the children into protective custody and later released them to their parents or guardians, police said in its news release.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued an emergency suspension of the day care center on Thursday, according to the Eagle. The order can be appealed.

“State law allows the Secretary of KDHE to issue such an order when, in the opinion of the Secretary, the order is necessary to protect children in the home from any potential threat to health or safety,” the agency said in a statement.

Barr did not respond to a call from the Eagle seeking comment.

Some parents with children attending the day care were upset after hearing about the arrest.

“This made my trust issues have trust issues,” Suzanna Koop told KWCH. “I’m struggling really hard with continuing to go to work because, man, I don’t know who I can trust. I wholeheartedly trusted (Barr).”

Aprille Ohlde told the television station that her son made friends at the day care center, and she believed she had a trusting bond with Barr.

The McPherson Police Department referred the incident to the Department of Children and Families and the McPherson County Attorney’s Office, KWCH reported.

The KDHE’s website shows four complaints made against the day care center: two in 2019 and two in 2021. The last complaint was unsubstantiated, the Eagle reported. Other complaints found cigarettes and a lighter accessible to children, a handrail on the front porch not being available, a 4-month-old napping in a playpen with a pillow and a blanket not tucked properly, and training and background checks not done on helpers.

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!