7 of the ombudsman’s recommendations for unlicensed daycares

Posted on October 22, 2014 in Child & Family Policy Context

TheStar.com – News / GTA – Many of ombudsman’s 113 recommendations have already been addressed by Education Ministry. Here are seven of them.
Oct 22 2014.   By: Marco Chown, Oved Staff Reporter

Many of the Ombudsman’s 113 recommendations target issues surrounding unlicensed home daycares were flagged by the Star in an investigation last year. Most have already been addressed by the Ministry of Education, including:

– A call for a dedicated enforcement unit, a 1-800 complaint line and an online search tool to ensure parents can easily lodge complaints, that those complaints will be investigated and that a record of past complaints is publicly available. All these are underway.

– Establishing a proactive approach to enforcement that targets daycare providers with a history of breaking the law. The new daycare bill gives inspectors the power to act without first receiving a complaint.

– The creation of a new case-management system that ensures complaints receive a timely followup and that statistics can be generated. The system will be in operation next year.

– Co-ordination with other agencies, such as police, public health, children’s aid societies and schools, so that information about daycares is shared. Protocols have been drafted and a duty to share information about home daycares is enshrined in the Child Care Modernization Act.

– Strengthening the cap of five children under 10 by excluding the exception for children “of common parentage.” The new legislation eliminates this exception and stipulates that the limit includes the daycare operator’s own kids if they’re under age 6.

– Closing the loophole that allowed daycares to operate if they are part of a private school established before 1993 or if they are called a “camp.” Any camps that care for children under 4, operate during the school year or are located in the owner’s home must now be licensed. Private schools have until Jan. 1, 2016 to become licensed.

– Operating multiple unlicensed daycares should be prohibited, regardless of whether they’re in a home or a commercial property. This practice would be banned under the new daycare act.

< http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/10/22/7_of_the_ombudsmans_recommendations_for_unlicensed_daycares.html >

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