Daycare debate ignited

Kim Ashan watches her five-year old play at Kids City on Friday. Riley McDermid / Global News

A case of child abandonment has forced a lot of parents to take a second look at who looks after their kids.

Police say an unlicensed daycare operator allegedly left six children alone in a home for more than an hour this past Tuesday.

It’s ignited the debate over whether licensed or unlicensed daycares are better.

“If I can’t stay home with my kids, I’d love that someone else is staying, maybe not my home but staying home with my kids,” says Tori Brown, a mother of a two-year old and a 10-month old.

Despite news of a home daycare provider being arrested for allegedly leaving six children under five unattended for at least an hour, Brown says at home daycares are still the better option.

“I find they get a lot more personal attention,” said Brown. “They’re able to work with your kids a lot easier all by themselves.”

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But for some mom’s, like Kim Ashan, it was the only option.

“I had to find a home daycare because the centre couldn’t take them because the waiting list was long,” said Ashan.

Her children are now in a licensed daycare but with over 10,000 children waiting for a day care spot in Manitoba, parents are desperate.

To make matters worse, a recent Auditor General Report found the province isn’t doing enough to monitor home day cares.

“We are working diligently on each and every recommendation,” said Margaret Ferniuk, Director for the Government of Manitoba’s Child Care Program.

It found when violations are reported, little or nothing was done.

“I think this is a wake up call,” said Pat Wege, with the Manitoba Child Care Association, “we don’t have enough daycare, people using unlicensed daycare need to be more diligent and vigorous.

It’s definitely something Brown will be doing, but she says there needs to be more information.

“I really don’t think there’s enough information out there about how home daycares should be run, about how real day cares should be run,” said Brown.

The province says it’s updating its website to answer those questions, another recommendation from the Auditor General.