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Powell child care center fires employees after two young children escape through broken gate

The children were found unharmed shortly after. The center said it has repaired the gate and fired the employees who were in charge of supervising the children.

POWELL, Tenn. — A long-time child care center in Powell said it has fired employees who were in charge of supervising two children who were able to briefly escape Thursday afternoon.

Mudpies and Music Child Care Center said the two children were able to leave the secured play area because the gate latch on a newly installed fence had broke. The center is located near a busy intersection at West Emory Road and Clinton Highway.

The children were found unharmed shortly after. The center said it has repaired the gate and fired the employees who were in charge of supervising the children.

"We have also reported the incident to state licensing authorities and will comply with any recommendations that they have in order to ensure that parents can remain confident that their children will be safe and secure while in our care," the center said. "Mudpies and Music has been in operation in the Powell community for twenty-eight years and nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children we care for, and the trust of their parents."

The Tennessee Department of Human Services said child care licensing staff are currently investigating the complaint and determining next steps, saying secure fencing is a requirement for licensed child care centers.

Owner Kara Mckamey said she is inviting parents to reach out to her personally to arrange a tour of the facility, show them what changes they've made and answer any questions they have. She said parents can also check on their children at anytime through their online camera system.