A Prince William County day-care provider was accused of child neglect after a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old in her care wandered out of her house and into the neighborhood, police said.
Maleighia G. Shockey, 23, of the 16000 block of Fairway Dr. in Montclair was charged with two counts of felony child neglect. She was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond.
A passerby spotted the two girls walking together in the Montclair neighborhood about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday and flagged down a police officer, authorities said. Police began talking to people in the area and were told there was a day-care business nearby.
When police arrived at Shockey’s house, there were five other children in her care, said Jonathan Perok, a Prince William police spokesman. Shockey was unaware that the two girls had left, police said.
Police said the children were outside for about an hour and, according to a map, had wandered about 500 feet from Shockey’s home.
The girls were not harmed and were returned to family members, police said. Prince William Child Protective Services was notified about the case. County officials said the girls had been in Shockey’s care for 10 months.
Shockey had started her child-care business by August 2006, according to a child-care Web site. She wrote in a blog post that she launched the business after graduating from high school. In a November 2007 ad on MySpace, she said she charged parents $100 per week.
“I am very responsible, so please don’t take my age into consideration,” she wrote in the ad. “I am not one of those sitters who just let the children play all day. I do things with them.”
The Virginia Department of Social Services said it had no record of a day-care license under Shockey’s name. Home day-care providers that serve six to 12 children, or more than four children younger than 2, must be licensed, according to the department’s Web site.
Reached by phone Thursday, Shockey declined to comment.
“I’m extremely irritated,” she said. “I’m really not in the mood to talk.”
Staff researcher Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.