The parents of a toddler who died at an unlicensed Vaughan daycare last month have filed a $3.5-million lawsuit against the facility's operators, as well as the Ministry of Education.
The operators of the daycare were caring for 27 children on July 10 when 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich was found dead. By law, unlicensed facilities are not supposed to accept more than 5 children under the age of 10 at any one time.
The toddler's cause of death still hasn't been released, but Patrick Brown, lawyer for the Ravikovich family said "we have received information from the coroner's office which we feel merits us proceeding with the lawsuit at this stage."
'we have received information from the coroner's office which we feel merits us proceeding with the lawsuit at this stage.'—Patrick Brown, lawyer for the Ravikovich family
Brown said the ministry was named in the suit because "they were given a responsibility to deal with these licensed facilities as well as unlicensed facilities and part of the allegations is that they failed."
Education Minister Liz Sandals said earlier this month that officials received three complaints in late 2012 about the number of children being monitored at the Vaughan facility.
Ministry officials only followed up one of the complaints with a site inspection, Sandals said, calling the lack of action "unacceptable."
Alena Savatskaya pulled her baby out of the Vaughan daycare just days before Eva's death. She told CBC News she had concerns that the operators were secretly caring for the children in two neighbouring homes.
The daycare has since been shut down due to a number of health infractions.
"It could [have been] my kid, it could [have been] my friends kid, it could be any kid," Savatskaya said. "This is what really destroyed me."
Ontario’s ombudsman André Marin has also promised to investigate how the ministry responds to complaints lodged against unlicensed care providers.
On Thursday morning, Eva Ravikovich's parents will speak publicly for the first time. They are planning to discuss details of their lawsuit and details of how they believe their daughter died.
A statement released by Ekaterina and Vyacheslav Ravikovich last week described their daughter as a "very mature and clever child."
"She will be forever loved and painfully missed," they said.
York Regional Police homicide detectives continue to investigate Eva's death as is standard procedure when a child under the age of five dies.