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Daycare safety charter unveiled

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CBC News
Publication Date: 
3 May 2010

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The Manitoba government has finally released a safety charter
designed to help staff at licensed daycares deal with emergency

The Manitoba Safe Child Care Charter contains safety plans and
codes of conduct for 1,105 licensed child-care facilities.

It covers all conceivable situations, from bomb threats to
weather crises, instructing staff on how to respond, plan evacuations
and get in touch with parents.

"We want fun, healthy and safe places for our children to learn
and grow. Today we are introducing safety standards so that all parents
can rest assured that reasonable steps have been taken to protect their
children," said Family Services Minister Gord Mackintosh.

The safety plans also detail how to keep unwanted people out, how
to respond when children have severe allergies, and what action to take
when staff or children are threatened.

The codes of conduct deal with, among other things, the
inappropriate use of email, computers and the internet, bullying and


All child-care facilities must also maintain locked doors to keep
out intruders. In places where that is not practical because a
child-care centre is in shared space with a school or community centre,
other methods of controlling visitor access will be approved, Mackintosh

The province will cover reasonable costs for equipment to make
that possible, he added.
The new measures must be in place by April 2011.

Idea first raised in 2007
The idea of the charter was first raised in the 2007 throne speech but
resurfaced last year after a couple of incidents caused scares in

In April 2009, a man tried to walk away from Winnipeg's downtown
YMCA-YWCA daycare with someone else's 23-month-old child.


And in March 2009, police were called to a daycare on Gateway
Road in East Kildonan when staff noticed a threat scrawled in the
facility's log book.

The incidents prompted the Manitoba Child Care Association to
urge the province to get the charter in place.

Parents may view the safety plan and code of conduct resource at
the Manitoba government website, by clicking the link at the top right
of this page.

- reprinted from CBC News