The B.C. government has proposed legislation that, if passed, would post online information about unlicensed child care and residential care facilities for the elderly.
If the Community Care and Assisted Living Amendment Act, announced Tuesday, is passed by the legislature, the province would publish summaries of “substantiated complaints and inspection reports” online for up to five years, unless there is a health or safety reason not to. Some information may be made available online for longer periods.
“Whether people are choosing child care, a residential-care facility for an elder, or a recovery home for those they love, they need information to make the best care choices,” said Premier John Horgan.
“These changes to the law will give families the ability to make more informed decisions about who will care for the ones they love.”
The proposed legislation comes 14 months after the death of Mac Saini. The toddler died while in the care of an unlicensed child care provider in Vancouver.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the local authority, had documented five complaints against the woman running Mac’s daycare from 2010 to 2016. That information was not required to be made readily available for parents.
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Indeed, the information on complaints against facilities is currently hard to find and families don’t know if there are any investigations or complaints about a certain operator or location.
“These legislative changes create transparency for individuals and facility operators, and make sure consistent information is available so families can easily check to see if a facility or residence is operated legally,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “And whether there have been any substantiated complaints about the care they provide.”
Some substantiated complaint summaries are now available online for complaints against licensed senior’s long-term care facilities. Those complaints are posted for only two years. The new legislation would require the inspection reports to be posted for five years for both licensed and unlawful residential-care facilities.
There are a number of different unlicensed child-care providers in the province. The providers are only allowed to care for two children who are not their own. There are three kinds of unlicensed child-care providers:
- Registered licence-not-required: These providers are registered with a child-care resource and referral centre and providers are required to get criminal record checks and health-and-safety home inspections.
- Licence-not-required care: Providers are not required to meet any health and safety standards. They are not monitored or inspected.
- In-own-home care: Parents can hire a nanny to come and take care of their children in their own home, parents are responsible for screening and hiring.