The current regulations were brought in following a number of heartbreaking tragedies, such as the death of 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich, who died in 2013 after being left in an SUV for hours on a hot summer day.
Toronto (12 Dec. 2018) — The President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) says the Ford government is putting young lives at serious risk by reducing adult supervision in unlicensed and home daycares across the province.
No consultation on Ontario government's changes to home and unlicensed child care
“Ford and his cronies are treating toddlers like red tape, when the safety of these children should be their top priority,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President. “Convenience shouldn’t come at the expense of their well-being. Wherever too much red tape is cut, yellow tape isn’t far behind.”
The Ford government didn’t consult parents, and to avoid scrutiny, dumped the proposed legislation right before it shut down the Ontario legislature for 2 months, Thomas added. The Conservative changes would allow a home-based or unlicensed child care provider to care for up to 3 children under the age of 2, rather than 2 children. A child care provider operating in a home with 2 caregivers could take 6 children under the age of 2, rather than the current maximum of 4.
Standards increased after deaths of children, now being lowered
The current regulations were brought in following a number of heartbreaking tragedies, such as the death of 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich, who died in 2013 after being left in an SUV for hours on a hot summer day. The owner of the unlicensed daycare in Vaughan — who was taking care of 35 children, far more than the provincial limit — pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.
“No parent should have to go through something like that — it’s absolutely horrifying,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “It’s outrageous that this government thinks it’s okay to relax rules that protect our youngest in the name of being ‘open for business.’”
"Parents should be very concerned about these irresponsible changes, which make no mention of increasing the number of inspectors to ensure kids in daycare are safe," he added.
Another reckless decision to please business sector
It’s yet another example of how the Ford government is putting business interests ahead of the safety of children and communities, Almeida said. "People are already worried about the Premier’s reckless cannabis scheme that will allow private retailers to set up shop just 150 metres away from schools."
“This is really an attack on the child care sector,” Almeida said. “If they want to make it easier for parents to find child care, Ford should come up with a plan for affordable public daycare in Ontario.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE