Owners of Vaughan daycare where girl, 2, died get 30 days for operating illegally

The owners of the Vaughan daycare where a two-year-old girl died were sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty of operating an illegal daycare last month.

3 operators must also each pay a $15,000 fine and can never operate another daycare

Eva Ravikovich, 2, was found dead at an unlicensed daycare in Vaughan, north of Toronto, on July 8, 2013.

The owners of the Vaughan daycare where a two-year-old girl died were sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty of operating an illegal daycare last month.

Ruslan Panfilov, 47, his wife Olena Panfilova, 50, and her daughter Karyna Rabadanova, 26, will also each have to pay a $15,000 fine and cannot ever operate another daycare. 

Joseph Richard Forget, the lawyer representing the three daycare operators, said he thought the sentence was fair, and that while his clients are still dealing with other legal issues, it offers a bit of relief.

"At least the pressure is off," said Forget. "They were certainly very afraid of a long jail time after they had listened to the Crown."

The Crown had been asking for three to six years in jail and the defence was asking for a fine-only sentence of $20,000 to $30,000.

Olena Panfilova admitted that she was guilty for the number of children that she had at her daycare at the sentencing hearing today. Through an interpreter she said that she was just trying to help parents who didn't have a lot of money.

Panfilova, Panfilov and Rabadanova will serve their 30 day sentences over weekends to allow them to work.

They were found guilty of operating an illegal child-care centre by a justice of the peace in a Newmarket court last month. 
Olena Panfilova was one of the owners of the daycare where two-year-old Eva Ravikovich died. Thursday she was charged with manslaughter in connection with Ravikovich's death. (CBC)

Olena Panfilova now faces an additional charge in connection with the illegal daycare. She was charged with manslaughter yesterday for the death of two-year-old Eva Ravikovich who died at the daycare in 2013.

"Essentially what we can say is we believe the death of this child is a direct result of the actions and the in-actions of the accused persons in this case, and the charges were ultimately laid following a long investigation as well as consultations with the Crown," York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle told CBC News on Thursday.

Twenty-seven other children and 14 dogs were in the facility on the day that the little girl was found without vital signs. No more than five children under the age of ten are allowed to be cared for in an unlicensed daycare.

A health inspector also said at the time that food that was either rotten or contaminated with listeria was found inside the house.

On Friday, the provincial Ministry of Education noted that in 2014, the government moved to improve access to, and strengthen oversight over, the child-care system in Ontario by passing the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA).

The legislation "clearly defines" programs that require a licence and those that do not in order to help parents make more informed decisions; increases licensed in-home child-care services; and introduces more tools and protections to "enhance safety" at both licensed and unlicensed facilities, a spokesperson for the ministry told CBC News in an email.

Since 2003, the email statement went on, the provincial government has doubled child-care funding to $1 billion a year, and the number of licensed child-care spaces has grown 87 per cent since that year, to 351,000.

The ministry would not comment on this specific case because it is ongoing.

Police say their investigation into the daycare remains open and are still calling on anyone with information to come forward.


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