Saskatoon

Saskatoon parents allege children neglected at unlicensed daycare

A Saskatoon couple is raising serious allegations about an unlicensed daycare and it's not the first time parents have alerted CBC News about concerns at the dayhome.

Jessica Day and Don Fraser are asking the police and province to investigate

Jessica Day and Don Fraser said they were unaware of previous complaints about the dayhome operator. (Nicole Lavergne-Smith/CBC)

A Saskatoon couple is raising serious allegations about an unlicensed daycare and it's not the first time parents have alerted CBC News about concerns at the dayhome.

Jessica Day and Don Fraser filed a police complaint yesterday against the daycare alleging details of neglect and mistreatment.

"Why is it not shut down?" Fraser said "Something has to be done."

Fraser and Day said their 15-month-old son and 6-year-old daughter are feeling better now but for two weeks the children were not themselves.

"He comes home, he was arching his back and he's not himself. He was starving," said Day. "[She] came running to me she's like 'mommy I'm so hungry' and her face was white."

The children were attending a Saskatoon dayhome, the same one where CBC News found similar complaints nearly two years ago.

In that case a mother posted a warning online alleging her toddler's diaper was "soaked through his jeans", that he had "snot and dirt caked on his face" and he would be "zombie-like and quiet" after she picked him up.

Fraser and Day told CBC News that they were unaware of previous complaints about the daycare operator. 

"I looked at her and when she spoke to me I trusted her. I believed that she was going to take care of my children," Day said. "Her hours worked for us."

Fraser believes his son suffered physical harm, due to neglect at the dayhome.

"He's had four bloody noses and yesterday there's dry blood under his nose,"  Fraser said.

The couple also said their children appeared "zoned out" after attending the daycare. The parents said there are concerned that the daycare operator may have medicated their son. They took him to a doctor to be tested. No traces of illicit drugs were found. They were told testing could not be done for over-the-counter drugs.   

CBC contacted the daycare operator. She was asked about the specific allegations and she denied each one. 

She told CBC that she had an inspection on Monday and that it was prompted by a complaint. She claims she passed the inspection. The Ministry of Education has not confirmed whether an inspection has occurred. 

No one from the province has been made available to address specific questions. The Ministry of Education provided a statement to CBC on Monday. 

It stated, "we investigate all complaints regarding childcare — licensed or not."   

"In 2013, the ministry established a toll-free number for reporting complaints regarding both licensed and unlicensed child care services."

Fraser and Day said they phoned a Social Services hotline number last Thursday and gave a detailed account of their concerns about the daycare. They have not heard back from anyone.

The couple removed their children from the dayhome after two weeks.They are struggling to find new daycare. 

Day's father, who lives in Toronto, will arrive in Saskatoon Wednesday to help look after his grandchildren.