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Ottawa daycare shut down over health and safety concerns

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Juergensen, Melissa
Publication Date: 
7 Jun 2010

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The provincial government has shut down a Barrhaven daycare over concerns about the "health, safety and welfare of the children who are enrolled there."

Ontario's Ministry of Children and Youth Services posted a four-page notice to parents on the doors of Barrhaven's Little Angels Montessori Academy, located on Cedarview Road.

The letter, dated June 4, cites a list of infractions against the daycare operator:

-children were not provided with sufficient food to meet nutritional requirements;
-the daycare did not plan a program to meet the developmental needs of children;
-children were not directed in an appropriate manner;
-and the daycare did not maintain accurate records.

Officials are investigating accusations the owner only ordered enough food for eight of the 14 toddlers and pre-schoolers in attendance, as well as allegations that a toilet was backed up for weeks near the eating area.

There is now a list of conditions placed on the Little Angels' license, which can be found on the Ministry of Education's website:

-changes to the menu must be posted;
-there must be a checklist for daily playground inspections and cleaning;
-program plans must be available
-job descriptions must be created for all staff and kept on file;
-and records of fire drills and medication administration must be kept on site at all times.

An Ottawa childcare advocate who works for a non-profit daycare notes that keeping records of medicine given to children is particularly important.

"They could have been double-dosed," said Diane O'Neill, executive director of Aladin Childcare Services.

However, the Little Angels Montessori Academy boasts online that it is committed to high-quality child care.

O'Neill says it's difficult to make money when operating a daycare, and parents need to make sure corners aren't being cut in an effort to save money.

"Your return on investment is quite low on the for-profit side, so you cut back on things - you don't buy quite as much equipment; you don't buy the supplies; you cut back on the food; you definitely cut back on staff wages," O'Neill said.
- reprinted from CTV News