License all home daycares, Sudbury operator says
'A hot dog cart has to be licensed and we don't license homes that provide care for children?'
A Sudbury daycare operator says parents need more information about complaints about unlicensed day cares.
Tracy Saarikoski, the executive director of the Teddy Bear Day Care in Sudbury and past president of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, said the coalition has filed a request under Freedom of Information for the dates, operator, circumstances and amounts fined for anyone convicted under the Day Nurseries Act.
The province recently disclosed that there were 16 complaints about unlicensed daycares in the north in the past 18 months. The Ministry of Education said 13 of those cases involved complaints about an illegal number of children in care and three were referred to other agencies.
Saarikoski would like to see more information available to the public, but she also thinks the province should license all daycares.
"I think unlicensed homes need to become licensed," she said. "I think the public deserves it and our children deserve it. A hot dog cart has to be licensed and we don't license homes that provide care for children?"
The province does not provide information about any complaints regarding health, neglect or abuse at unlicensed daycares, however, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner said parents can apply for that information.
The assistant commissioner with the Information and Privacy Commissioner's Office said it's complicated sometimes deciding what should be public knowledge.
"There may be other information though that the distinction between personal information and business information is not so clear," Brian Beamish said.