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Unregulated child care tragedy demands answers and action

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CUPE Ontario
Press release
Publication Date: 
14 Jan 2011

Text of the press release:

The Provincial government must act to prevent more tragedies like the death of 14-month-old Duy-An Nguyen, the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario said today.

"Unlicensed home child care failed Baby Duy-An and her family last week, with tragic consequences. How many more tragedies do we need to have?" asked Fred Hahn.

Baby Duy-An died last Friday after suffering severe head trauma at an unlicensed home day care in Mississauga. The unlicensed operator has since been charged with second-degree murder.

"We extend our deepest condolences to Baby Duy-An's family and the many others who loved her in this time of grief," Fred Hahn said today.

Currently, home-based child care operators are exempt from licensing requirements, provided they care for no more than five children at a time. With costs for licensed child care out of the reach of many families and massive waiting lists for subsidized licensed care, thousands of Ontario families are left with no choice but to leave their children in unlicensed home facilities.

"The Minister responsible for child care has said that unlicensed home care is an option some parents prefer. We think it is far more likely that when parents opt for that choice, they are selecting the least bad option available to them," said Hahn.

CUPE Ontario is calling for a Coroner's Inquiry in Baby Duy-An's death. Hahn also urged the Provincial Government to launch its own investigation to determine how to ensure parents aren't forced to leave their children with unlicensed child care providers.

"As a society, Baby Duy-An's family deserves to know why this tragedy happened and what steps need to be taken to ensure no other family has to suffer like this," he added.