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photo by Gord Bowes

photo by Gord Bowes

Melanie Tomlinson, who operates an unlicenced daycare out of her central Mountain home, says new legislation will force good operators like herself out of business just to take care of some rogue operations that could be closed if complaints were simply acted upon.

Unlicenced doesn’t automatically mean unsafe, says daycare operator

By Gord Bowes, News staff

The province doesn’t need to punish all unlicenced daycares because of a few bad operators, says a central Mountain businesswoman.
Proposed legislation would force upstanding operators out of business, says Melanie Tomlinson.
Earlier this month, the provincial Liberal government unveiled their plans for the Child Care Modernization Act, which would limit the number of children a home daycare operator can look after.
The move is in response to a number of deaths in unlicenced daycare operations in recent years, including three in the last six months. One involved a home where up to 29 children were being cared for.
Tomlinson, a registered early childhood educator, said she cares for four toddlers right now, but the new law would limit her to two. While it would allow her to care for more older children, they don’t comprise much of the business, she says.
“The good providers are going to shut down because they’re not going to be able to make a decent wage with only two kids in care,” she says. “It’s going to be hard to find 3- and 4-year-olds that need daycare. And now with full-day kingergarten, once they are four they go to school.”
The current law has teeth, says Tomlinson, but government inaction led to the deaths in at least one case.
“There were numerous complaints reported to the ministry … and nothing was followed up on.”
The new legislation is a step in the right direction to ensuring operations are safe and monitored, says Hamilton Mountain MPP Monique Taylor.
Unlicenced operators can still make money under the tougher rules, says Taylor, the NDP’s child and youth services critic.
“In the unlicenced world, it was running rogue … that’s how we ended up with daycares that had 27 kids-plus,” she says.
“People can still make a good living as a licenced facility and then we have rules and regulations in place to make sure our children are safe.”

3 Responses to “Unlicenced doesn’t automatically mean unsafe, says daycare operator”

  1. ruseeryus says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  2. rece says:

    Because we cannot just ‘get licensed’!! There is no Government option to license us & this is part of the problem!
    I am frustrated with Monique Taylor’s response that licensing will ensure quality of care. It doesn’t! Stuff happens in daycare centres, schools & other child environments.

    Us providers have an option to work under a licensed agency but they take 1/3 our wages. Add in your daily operating costs (groceries, craft supplies, toilet paper, wipes, utities, soap etc). I’d make more money as a Walmart greeter. Sad but true.

    The true problem here is the shortage they are creating. Where will all these 1 year olds go? We will be forced to terminate some children in our care due to the new ratio, and all the good providers hands will be tied with only 2 one year olds as well. Hamilton has large infant wait lists. This is only going to create a bigger problem!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  3. crystlejean@sympatico.ca says:

    I agree with the fact that if the gov’t got off their tushes and investaged the complaints this issue would not be an issue

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

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