Four Ontario investigations into deaths at unregulated home daycares over the last three decades has led to a call for more provincial oversight.
Last summer, the death of two toddlers in a North York and Vaughan home daycares disrupted a community. Investigators soon began to probe the number of deaths that have occurred in unregulated daycares over the past 30 years.
In 1985, four children along with their caregiver died of smoke inhalation in a Bolton house fire. The caregiver, according to thestar.com, was intoxicated and asleep when the fire began. A decade later, a 1-year-old was strangled by her undershirt when it caught on a bolt in a defective playpen in an unregulated Cambridge home daycare. Two years later, another child was strangled by the strap of a car seat. The list goes on and on.
After all these deaths, inquiries were launched and a call for reform was made, including a review of the Day Nurseries Act, mandatory provincial registration and more licensed home daycares. Although there are licensed daycare spots in Ontario, they only serve about 12 per cent of children under the age of 12.
Under the Day Nurseries Act, these homes are overseen by licensed agencies that are responsible for ensuing health and safety standards are met. The act requires a minimum of three visits a year by agency staff.
It seems that although something is in place that can help protect children, it is not enough as these accidental deaths continue to happen.
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