Neighbors Cry Cover Up: Child Runs From Unlicensed Daycare

A young child ran away from an unlicensed daycare in Monaca, and borough residents allege nothing was ever done about it because of political pressure on the police. The home daycare the child ran from at 816 Speyer Avenue is operated by Shelly and Darren McKay, who is the brother of Council President Jeff McKay.

The incident happened back in March but several town residents say they waited until now to contact the press, because they had been given the impression the matter was being actively investigated by police.

“I could just not believe that nothing was ever done, nothing. It was all just basically swept under the rug” said Jessica McClure, the woman who found the young child roaming her neighborhood alone. “Now if that had been anybody else you know what would have happened.”

McClure said she was sitting on a curb with her two children at their bus stop one morning, drinking a cup of coffee, when she saw a 2 or 3 year old boy running alone through someone’s yard down the street. “I see this little boy running through the yard, and at first I thought to myself, his parents must be behind him somewhere because you know how little kids can get ahead of you sometimes” said McClure. “I keep watching him, and then I see him taking off [...] he was running alone all the way down Walnut Street.”

The woman said she told her 11 year old son to stay put, flipped off her sandals, threw down her coffee and cellphone, and took off running barefoot. “By the time I got to him he was getting ready to cross over to 14th street” said McClure. “It’s a busy road here in Monaca, cars go 60 miles an hour down it [...] Where the boy was getting ready to cross, cars go over a hill and they can’t really see what’s coming.”

McClure said the boy let her pick him up, and she carried him back to get her cellphone. She then dialed 911. “I told 911 I had the boy, and he didn’t talk so I had no idea who he belonged to, and that I found him on 14th Street.” She said shortly after, Darren McKay drove by, spotting her and the boy standing in her front yard.

“[Darren McKay] just said to me, oh he’s from my wife’s daycare, he’s hard to control, he got out and we were looking for him” said McClure. She said the man then asked her to lie about what had happened. “He wanted me to lie to the police, he didn’t want me to tell them that [the boy] was all the way down at 14th Street [...] I told him I had already told 911 where I found the little boy.”

The location McClure said she found the boy is some 3 blocks from the McKays’ home daycare. She said in total, it was nearly 15 minutes from when she first saw the boy running alone, to when Darren McKay drove by.

“When the cop came, he let [McKay] take the little boy with him back to the daycare, they notified his parents, and that was basically it” said McClure. The woman said the child’s parents, who also live in Monaca, visited her later that week to say thank-you.


Map © Bing / illustration by the Beaver Countian

When asked by the Beaver Countian, Monaca Police Chief William Petures said he “[doesn't] recall anything like that ever happening” in the town, and said the incident “doesn’t ring a bell.” A law enforcement source within the department told the Beaver Countian a report was turned directly over to the Chief. That same source also said the incident was viewed as a “political landmine” by officers inside of the department, due to Darren McKay being related to Council President Jeff McKay.

“Oh my god, I don’t need this right now are you kidding me” said Shelly McKay when contacted by the Beaver Countian. “Someone is just trying to stir up trouble, honestly [...] The kid was only gone less than 5 minutes, and now my name is going to get ruined [...] I can’t deal with this, seriously.”

McKay denied running a home daycare. “I’m not trying to run a business, I’m just a stay at home mom” she said. “There are two kids that I get on to the bus in the morning, and I watch 3 more children during the day.” McKay acknowledged she gets paid for her childcare services, and that she isn’t licensed by the state.

Several other people familiar with the McKays, who spoke to the Beaver Countian on condition they not be named, said they have seen over a half dozen children at their home on various days. They also say the couple has been watching other people’s children for years.

Anne Bale, spokesperson for the Department of Public Welfare in Harrisburg, said the McKays are operating a home daycare business as defined by law, and they’re doing it without the required license. “We are confident that we have not found her in our databases, and confident that means she’s operating illegally” said Bale. “If you are accepting money to care for children, even if it is 3 or fewer unrelated children, you need to have some form of licensing with the state.”

The type of licensing required, and the amount of regulation that accompanies it, varies depending on the number of children being cared for. “The licensing protects not only the children, but also the daycare provider” added Bale.

As for the incident, Shelly McKay told the Beaver Countian the child was only outside of the home for “less than five minutes”, and that her husband was right behind him. “[The child] busted out my back door, broke it, and went into in my neighbor’s backyard” she said. “I saw him open the door, but I was standing at the bus stop with other children, so I called for my husband to get him [...] My husband was right there [...] We filed a report with the police and that was it.”

A Law Enforcement source disputed McKay’s account of the event, telling the Beaver Countian that Jessica McClure had dialed 911, that the McKays never called the police, and that the original report was of a lost child being found all the way down on 14th Street. That law enforcement source spoke on condition they not be identified by name, saying they feared potential retaliation from council.

Council President Jeff McKay told the Beaver Countian his sister-in-law does not run a home daycare business, and that he knew nothing about the incident. “I would know if something like that happened, and I hope you people know how many sources you need to speak to before you publish a story [...] A lot of [reporters] get bad publicity after they publish things without having the right number of sources.” Councilman McKay then asked which police officers talked about the incident. “You need to provide me with information, if you want me to provide you with information” he said. The Beaver Countian respectfully declined.

A message left for the child’s parents was not returned.

47 comments

  • The Mckays r a good family, this has been blown way out of line. Darren Mckay runs the Monaca Youth Baseball, he is all about the kids and has been for years. His brother Jeff is also a great guy and has done so much for the Monaca community…..PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE WITHOUT THE FACTS, leave it to the Beaver Countian to cover a bs story like this GET A LIFE!!!

  • This story has so many contradictions by the police and the McKays. I believe Jessica McClure and she should be applauded for her heroic actions. I live on Speyer and I know for a fact that there are more than three children at this home and sometime as many as seven. The McKays are good people but that does not mean they are above the law. I call for an immediate reorginization of council to look into these blatant lies by the chief and council president. I have a friend who has already been contacted to not bring their child to Mckays daycare services anymore. They gave him the reason was because the child misbehaved today and is not welcomed back.

  • If anybody who has been a parent would know Jessica McClure is a hero for possibly saving a childs life or an abduction. How dare Mrs. McKay not tell her clients about this travesty. All parents who are clients of this daycare center should speak up and be heard. After reading this there are so many holes in the police side of the story that I feel an immediate investigation is imminent.Thank God this child was not harmed and is safe today with his wonderful parents who I know well. After the childs parents were notified the police told them nothing can be done about this incident. I am glad this story has been reported to the residents of Beaver County.

  • Hey Paul! The Mckays don’t run a day care service since when is baby sitting a few kids a crime? No one says they r above the law they r the type of people who would admit to a wrong doing. And a reorganization of council? Do u really have any clue what ur talkin about? U claim u live on speyer avenue, maybe u should get ur facts straight. These r the stories the beavercountian comes up with? Come on now there r much more important things going on around here, but let’s try to attack Jeff Mckay over nothing, because that’s what we do at the beavercountian, we start drama over nothing

  • Wow…5 minutes and the small boy is 3 blocks away? Seriously? I wouldn’t want my child in their hands…and I have three beautiful boys myself and worry about them constantly…seriously, you people need to get a life and PAY more attention to the children…if you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be running a “daycare” who cares who you’re related to…children’s safety should be number 1!!!

  • Wow law enforcement at its best! How sad for the child. Does this Childs life mean nothing? I think an even bigger tragedy would be if this Childs parents (or any parent for that matter) still use these peoples services!

  • Why didn’t the McCays get a day care license in the first place? Too many regulations (like not enough adults for the number of children which would allow a child to run off)? Too expensive?

    Or were they above the law because they are relatives of people high up in politics?

    While we’re checking facts, did anyone contact the IRS to see if taxes were paid on the money charged for childcare?

    Does Monaca have any requirements or business taxes?

    This is the problem with liberals (in both parties) in government. They make so many regulations and require so many taxes that people try to avoid both.

    That’s okay. Keep voting Democrat. We’ll get even more regulations and more taxes. You don’t have to worry about it, though, because “you know people.” Regulations and taxes don’t apply to you, only to the other guy.

  • After reading this story. I believe this man, John Paul. Has done his homework.
    With TRUE Facts. Before he printed this article.

    JACK BLACK
    crawl under a rock JACK

  • Shelly and Darren Mckay (YOU BOTH) should Thank your lucky stars that McClure
    was the ONE who found your run away.

    Sounds to me the Mckays are elderly people and should not watch any childern.
    Because if her Husband as she told the Beaver Countain was right behind the child could not catch the boy.

    I first want to Thank You Jessica McClure.
    And second to also Thank You Mr. John Paul. For the truth about Monaca.
    Somewhere I don’t want to move anytime SOON.

  • I know the parents ,n they were shocked n pissed by the events ,Their son walked out the front door ,because the husband was upstairs n the wife walked to bus stop ! And by the time she came back he was gone !! It was alot longer than 5 minutes ! And when my friends told her ,her services were no longer needed ,she had the balls to ask why ! The parents of that child are great people and parents ,and didn’t ask this to happen .it happened because this woman is careless and not responsible ! Good people or not ,they failed here !! Thank god this kid wasn’t hurt or killed on that road !!

  • Thank you Jessica McClure. May GOD Bless you and your family.

    In todays time People don’t want to get involved.
    But you did what is Right.

    14 th street @ the top is dangerous to cross as an adult. Let alone a small Child.

    Again Thank GOD…. Jessica you where there at that Time.
    This little one could have been Hurt or Killed on that road.
    You are a Hero in many Parents Eyes.

    Thank you Beaver countian for digging deep and getting the facts.

  • I Hope the parents of the run away child. Get Legal Help.
    And get some Justice.

    It takes most on the time 2 people in the family to work to keep up. In todays times.

    Then to believe your Child is SAFE. at someone home.
    As stated in the Mckays home (BUT) Failed to keep all the childern in a SAFE environment. Because a Childs Life was missing from the house.
    Just wondering 3 blocks away.

    Mckay do everyone a FAVOR and yourself. STOP WATCHING OTHER PEOPLE CHILDERN.

  • Really Jack Black? You need a license when you have more then 2 children THAT ARE NOT RELATIVES! Her operation is illegal and I take a child to that bus stop every single day and see that she has 2 she puts on the bus and has a third one with her, and I have a gut feeling there are more at her home. This is crazy! Thank God that little boy is okay, and that his parents didn’t press any charges (even though they need too!)

  • I had heard many bad things about the town of Monaca and it’s politics. It was a great town once but it seems to be going the way of the dogs. If this story is true it is time someone (meaning council) takes control of this situation and begins damage control. If it takes replacing the chief or at least a suspension so be it. I will not say anything negative regarding the daycare center but they need to begin with the truth and work towards a resolution to this shameful situation. It is time for the leaders to lead or get the hell out of the way!

  • What has happened to the once great town of Monaca? I will not defend nor will I condemn the daycare service because I cant make heads or tails of their comments. I will however challenge the leaders of this town to lead or get the hell out of the way. You must begin damage control immediately with an investigation and swift and fair judgement. If it calls for a suspension or a firing so be it. This is serious stuff but wonder why this has not been reported on TV or our local newspaper. Last but not least big props go out to Jessica McClure for leaving her own children at the bus stop to protect this innocent child from a possible tragedy.

  • The babysitter claims the little 2 year old busted the door. She also said she saw the boy, but called her husband to get him. The child was found 3 blocks away. The lies of the daycare center are obvious. Mere seconds and the quick actions of the McClure women saved the small boy. It is disgraceful that the McKays did not take responsibility for their lack of attention. They certainly could have shown remorse and concern. Their place ought to be called “Lack of Daycare”.

    • Two words. I’m disgusted. Shelly McKay has been unstable for a long time. She called the child autistic and that he had ADHD on many occasions. If this is true and the child does have special needs she should have had an even closer eye on him. What is the matter with her husband? He knew how many kids were at his house! He knew that she is mentally unstable, and yet he allowed his wife to continue with her childcare business. I guess when you can just get up and go and work at Aldi’s for 12 hours a day it’s easy to turn a blind eye to what is going on at your house. I am so thankful that this all came out because my friends got their kids out of her DAYCARE. She did tell the parents that she was licensed, she had business cards. It all comes down to GREED. She felt like she had to keep up with the Jones’. She was jealous about the in-ground pools, the large homes, the nice cars, that parents of children she watched had. Jealous of their money, education, bodies, husbands, and family. Try going to the beach with her for a week, and you’ll want to throw up. God bless these kids for putting up with her all day and God bless the parents for putting up with her insanity. I’m so happy that she is done watching kids. I don’t think I could hold my tongue any longer.

  • If this story is true. There must be an investigation, and now. When a 911 call was made to the Monaca police. The Chief of police, recalls that it never happened. Also if president of council is involved. I think the people of Monaca need to clean there town up. Maybe starting with the top.

  • I bet the parents of the child was thankful, that Jessica Mcclure found there child and called 911. Also parents of the child, how do you feel that mckays say your child was uncontrolable. When they watch him at there home daycare. Do any of you parents even know how they discipline your childern. Why didn’t Mckays call 911. What were they hiding. Oh yes the little child missing.
    If I was the parents of the missing child, I would tell everyone I see. yes thank God your child is safe. But don’t let this happen to someone else child that may not be as fortunate as yours. Being found by someone who has childern of her own, and knows what it means.

    This home daycare should not be aloud to every watch childern again. The state should see to that.

  • Chief Billy Boy: sounds like youre deeply embedded in Monaca politics. First its the no help, dont get involved at the Celeste’s Tavern incident, now its no recall with 911at the Mckay incident. Stand up like a man and do your job….if you can!

  • This story must get turned over to higher authorities. mckays and monaca police chief ? Darren Mckay asking Jessica McClure to Lie. After she calls 911.
    Mckays Good Poeple……… The chief, he [doesn't] recall anything like that happening, in the town. where does he work at.

    • Why is she still getting away with this??? Why hasn’t the Times picked up this story!! Why haven’t people called the news? It disgusts and sickens me that she ignored and endangered children. I am a neighbor of hers and I saw what went on over there. She said that a neighbor watched the kids while she went to the bus stop but that is a lie!!! She hoarded children. People might smile at her face but we all know what kind of unstable person Shelly McKay is. Her false sense of security has to be purchased. It’s disgusting. She was greedy and took money from these parents and they had no idea what was going on! Greed Greed Greed!

  • There should be more people out there like, Jessica Mcclure. Be proud of what you done. Stand up to what is right. And getting Involved. Not looking the other way. Thank you for looking out for others.

  • Early Childhood Professional
    Why would anyone enroll their child in an unlicensed day care? DPW licensing regulations are MINIMUN standards. If a home won’t take the effort to be licensed, that says something to me. What are they trying to hide? There are so many quality child cares in this area. Check the http://www.pakeys.com website for more information on quality care.
    I also find it very hard to believe that the Chief knew and ignored the incident. Chief Petures is known for his dedication to the welfare of children and the prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Did the incident ever really get reported back to him? Probably not! Looking for someone to blame, start with the source.

  • I worked at a daycare that was a 5 star program. In daycares, there is a certain number of workers to children ratio. FOR THIS EXACT REASON!!!! I believe its still 3-1 for infants, 3-1 for toddlers age 2-4, and 5-1 for ages 4+. There is just no way that you can have like 7 kids there of all ages, and 1 worker (maybe 2 if the man is as hands on and with this whole “daycare” thing as she is) and have eyes on all those children. I think that if they wanna run a “daycare” or even “babysitting service” or whatever they might want to call it….hire some more people, and get a license! People are SUE happy these days. The McKays are lucky they didnt get hit with a suit!! And Im sure that this was most certainly an accident…a very serious and scary one at that!! But when you get cleared by the state, you get to learn tricks about what you can do to make your house safer and kid proof!! Benefits everyone involved!!

  • I wonder if the Mckays had found the child, first . Would they have told the parents of the runaway boy. No I Think Not.

  • First i find it hard to believe MONACA police dept at fault simply for reason being, the child was found and probaly they where under the impression all was well with the child because it was back in the care of the watcher of the child, unless a formal complaint was filed NO VICTIM NO CRIME!

    GREAT thing is that miss McClure didnt let this rest and BROUGHT it to public light, because from what is being said in this story from nieghbors and FRIENDS that had children at the McKAYS house it clearly was an ILLEGAL DAYCARE…FOR PROFIT….

    And before anyone runs to defense of this, take a moment and think…. THE PARENTS yes the PARENTS of these children knowingly endangered the WELFARE of there own CHILDREN!!!

    How ??? they knew it was basically a daycare that wasnt LICENSED and wasnt simply a friend or a old bubba baby sitting the kids for a few bucks!

    It was a good deal on daycare opposed to paying for a registered and inspected for child safety daycare! And the parents that come to this house have HIGH END vehicles and really good jobs and some would be surprised how good of jobs that they have and are paid to be CERTIFIED by the state to EDUCATE!

    WHAT if that poor child had been hit by a car every parent that had the kid in the daycare would have felt guilty and blamed the McKays for lack of proper supervision and safety at the place. Also what kind of HOMEOWNER insurance coverage would did they have because if little billy or betty got really hurt i bet there close friend would have gotten sued!

  • Ms. McClure did not call the police. If you read the article you would have read that the information was provided to the Beavercountian by an annonymous law enforcement source a.k.a. a police officer. Do not condemn Ms. McClure, she should be applauded and recognized for her actions. All this doesn’t matter anyway because it will all be “swept under the carpet”. Monaca politics! What a shame. I am sure by now the daycare center is back open for business. Someone has to pay for the Jaguar in the driveway. Do you know where your children are?

  • With all of this aside, it’s amazing to me that people didn’t see through this overly dramatic woman. Everything is always about her, poor her all the time. Poor kids and poor families of these kids is more like it. Maybe she will be ashamed to show her face around Monaca and the Ball Field now with all of the neighbors and families seeing the true light of her character. People from all over are talking about Shelly McKay and she should be ashamed to have her name in everyone’s mouth…. I know parents of kids that attended her DAYCARE and I doubt very much that the parents were aware of the shennanagins that were taking place at her residence. You drop your kids off in the morning trusting that she takes good care of them throughout the day and then you go to work. I’m sad for all of these kids and families. For all of the kids that she watched, she never had them at the bus stop with her, meaning that they were left unattended in her home, no matter what she says. The only person that the families were paying to watch their kids was her. No excuses….

  • As for your so called “in-depth” reporting i believe its called a blog. All this article has in it is he said she said garbage. I have a fact for all of you naysayers, Chief Petures who has been in law enforcement for over 30 years doesnt need to abide by any politics to fit in to the town of monaca, he IS monaca 100%. He would do anything for this town. Maybe i’m the only one who had this bright thought, but if some blogger claiming to be a reporter from the Beavercountian (which i cant even say without rolling my eyes and laughing) calls me, the chief of police to poke and prod me for answers i dont owe it to him to release any details of anything! Chief Petures is way smarter than you think obviously and when it comes to his work hes no rookie. He knows what hes doing and spreading he said she said for the beavercountian blog isnt one of them.

  • please keep this going so that it never dies! We need this story to hit the Beaver County Times!!

  • Thank God for Mrs McClure. Indirectly the residents voted the council clowns you have in office (norm, mckay) really monaca has gone to shit, and i’m glad i don’t live there any more

    • I wish that the news would have picked this up. I just saw this article, which was spread to me by ‘word of mouth’. Shelly McKay told parents that she was a licensed daycare provider. She even had business cards. I know because I have one. She claims tha she didn’t run a businss though. Hmmm. I wonder if the parents of the kids know how much she complained about them and their children. She took their money though! Make no mistake about that. I am so glad that she ever watched any of my family members. One day she complains she is broke, the next she talks about how much money she dumps into her car, her pool, her planned plastic surgery (vanity at it’s finest), her son’s college expenses and I could go on and on. God help her own kids. She really needs to be on medication for mood stabilization because she is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Maybe she should move. I don’t know how her husband can even look at her. I feel bad for him, he just looks exhausted.
      She complains about everything in life, the baseball field, how she is THE ONLY person who does anything. I know that friends of hers belong to that baseball organization and she talked about them and their personal life like crazy. I wish they knew. Oh how I wish they know. . I don’t even know how Jeff McKay can defend her when all she does is badmouth him, his mother and the entire McKay family. It’s gross. Yes, people smile at her. People might even speak to her, but we all know what she did. We all know she was neglectful, we all know she left those kids alone, we all saw how many kids she had. She thinks she will get away with it. Maybe she will, but all someone has to do is turn her into the IRS because she let those parents write off daycare expenses!!! hint hint everyone

  • Can we the people of Monaca, post this article on every single telephone pole in the town? Can we do something about this greedy woman, who now drives a new Audi? I say this not out of jealousy. Oh no no no, out of disgust. I too could drive ‘my dream car’ but other things in my life are much more important. My point is this woman is a disgusting display of vanity and greed. She is a walking neurotic eating disorder. One day she is high on life, the next she is down in the dumps. She says her husband is awful to her and her family lives so far away so she fills her emptiness with material posessions. No wonder her son wanted to go away to college. I’m sure her daughter will run fast and far as soon as she graduates too. To know that she hoarded all of those kids and let a little boy escape from her care disgusts me. What disgusts me even more is that there is so much community outrage yet the Police did nothing. I hear her name all over town. Yes, people smile at her and even tolerate her at the baseball field, but they all think she’s a neurotic awful person. I’m just so disgusted that this didn’t hit the news or the Beaver County Times.

  • Well, here goes. Shelly is so jealous of so many of those parents. Here are some of the things you over hear her saying as she is at the ball field: This one lost weight on some diet (but she bitched daily about her leaving her kids there too long while she went to some fitness boot camp). The other woman just built this brand new house and drives a Cadilac that she cannot afford. The people up the street constantly fix their house like they have money or something. This kid is annoying, this kid is a whiner, this kid never shuts up, this kid is always sick, my husband doesn’t love me, my husband never does anything nice for me. Darrin never buys me anything, boo hoo hoo. Let me complain about how much my son’s graduation party costs, college costs and car costs. Let me complain about how ignorant my daughter is. Let me tell everyone that my mother in law hates me and I hate her. People actually let this psychopath watch their kids. Shame shame. Maybe she never complained to the parents themselves, but she sure told the rest of the world their business and how she hated them. But she TOOK THEIR MONEY and watched kids way over ratio so that she could have the money to buy her happiness. Sick. She should be embarrassed to be seen outside. Her neighbors are all sick about her lack of judgement. She might think that they are still ‘friends’ of hers, but they aren’t.

  • So, this woman just got away with abuse and neglect? A friend of mine had her child at Shelly’s house. She would drop her child off in the morning and then call me. She would tell me that Shelly was crying that her husband is neglectful, or crying that she was vomiting all morning, or crying that she was so stressed out. Shelly always seemed to be very needy for attention. My friend would also tell me how Shelly would complain about other parents. I think she knew way too much about the other kids parents, just like the above commenters stated. She would COMPLAIN CONSTANTLY about how she and her husband were the only ones who did anything at the Monaca baseball field. She would complain all the time about stocking the freezer, working the concession, how no one would ever help her. She would be in tears over it. I don’t understand how something so dumb could consume all of her emotional time. Maybe she needed more important things in life to think about, like taking care of the kids she hoarded in her house. Instead she just starved herself to look like other pretty skinny well-adjusted mom’s who she was jealous of. She would talk to my friend about the xanax she would take to calm herself down. I think shame on my friend in a way, for letting this crazy woman watch her kids,but that was not my place to say. I spoke to some of her neighbors and they all think that she is a nut job. The are disgusted with her behavior and frankly they all hope that she moves back to Ohio where she is from. There is enough trash in Monaca.

  • Calm down everyone. This is all over. Jeff and Billy made sure of that. Shelly wasn’t that bad of a person….. right? I mean she had nice things a nice house. living the dream. Reality is this. That boy could have been killed. The parents were stupid for not researching her more. Bottom line…..U failed that boy. Shelly and Darren…U failed as human beings.