MACON, Ga. -- The Jones County Sheriff's Office says a daycare owner was arrested Monday after she allowed four kids ages 6 through 11 to go onto State Highway 49 unsupervised and told them to walk home -- 15 miles away.
According to Investigator Kenny Gleaton with the Jones County Sheriff's Office, 36-year-old Laverne Stubbs, owner of Kids University, located at 833 Highway 49, sent the four children into the street late Monday morning.
Gleaton said Stubbs sent the children out because inspectors from the state's "Bright from the Start" agency, the Department of Early Care and Learning, arrived at the daycare center, and Stubbs feared being cited for overcrowding.
Gleaton said a driver called the police when she saw the kids walking along the highway and immediately pulled over to pick them up.
The four were siblings -- an 11-year-old boy and 6-, 8- and 9-year-old girls. They were found less than a mile from the center.
The driver called the sheriff's office, and a deputy met the woman at a nearby convenience store.
Gleaton says the kids told the deputy Stubbs first asked them to hide behind a shed and then told them to walk home.
"Their house is way on the other side of the county," Gleaton said. "Way too far for these children to be walking."
An incident report from the sheriff's office says a state inspector first counted 26 children, but later counted 22.
When the inspector found the four children hiding behind the shed, she said Stubbs told her they belonged at a different day care.
Stubbs called another woman to pick up the children, but when she arrived, that woman didn't know the name and phone number of the children's parents, the report said.
Stubbs was charged with four counts of reckless endangerment and released on a $4,000 bond.