A Calgary man has been charged with assault and the Alberta Ministry of Children’s Service has shut down a daycare after an incident at the facility. Some parents are concerned that they weren’t informed about the incident until three months after it happened.
A closure notice posted on the door of Woodbine Daycare, posted by the Alberta Ministry of Children’s Sevices on Wednesday, states that the daycare’s licence would be lifted as of Thursday, Feb. 20.
The notice states that the daycare had been operating under a probationary licence since November 2019.
The notice reads: “On Nov. 5, 2019 a critical incident occurred at the childcare program where a staff member was physical towards a child… the staff member picked up the child by the shoulders and tossed the child to a couch, then proceeded to kick the child in the leg. The critical incident was captured on video and the Calgary Police Service were involved.”
News of the incident came as a shock to Tyler Vollhoffer, whose five-year-old son has been at Woodbine Daycare since June 2019.
“When you learn that one of the daycare providers had to resort to physical violence with a young child, it’s really disturbing,” Vollhoffer said.
Vollhoffer, and two other parents who spoke with Global News, expressed concern that they didn’t learn about the November incident until February.
“Didn’t hear a thing. There was nothing posted at the daycare that there was an investigation going on,” Vollhoffer said. “Apparently the information was posted online, but there was no notice sent out to the parents or anything that anything even happened.”
The closure of the daycare has left many parents scrambling to make new childcare arrangements.
Moses Ogunbiyi, who had three children at the daycare, says it would’ve helped to have more advance notice of the shutdown.
“If you know that’s going to happen, at least we’d like two weeks’ notice, or a month for parents to look (for new childcare spaces),” Ogunbiyi said. “All the daycares are filled up.”
Vollhoffer says there should be a better system in place to inform parents in a situation like this.
“There should be something in place where the daycare is mandated to email all the parents that there is an ongoing investigation and provide us with the information we need,” Vollhoffer said. “I think that a lot of people probably would’ve left the daycare had they known that they were under investigation.”
Global News contacted the Woodbine Daycare for a comment but didn’t receive any response.
A spokesperson for the Minister of Children’s Services sent a statement that reads: “Children’s safety and well-being are our top priority. Woodbine Daycare Centre was on a probationary licence that will not be renewed.
“Children’s Services will work closely with the families affected by this closure to help them make alternative childcare arrangements.”
The Calgary Police Service says it has charged a Calgary man with assault in connection with the Nov. 5 incident at the Woodbine Daycare.
Abid Ali Shah, 65, is expected to appear in court later in February.