day care, licensed safer than non-licensed?

Tara - posted on 01/09/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )




The 35-year-old woman charged with the death of an infant at a Mississauga, Ont., daycare, will make her next court appearance on Jan. 11.

April Luckese made a brief appearance in a court in nearby Brampton, Ont., on Saturday.

She is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 14-month-old Duy-An Nguyen.

What happened in court is not reportable due to a publication ban.

Allegedly the infant was assaulted at April's Daycare on Wednesday. The baby died two days later.

The unlicensed private daycare is run by Luckese out of a townhouse on Asta Drive, near Cawthra Road and the Queen Elizabeth Way.

Nguyen was taken off life support Friday morning at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, where she was admitted Wednesday in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery.

Luckese, of Mississauga, had originally been arrested and charged with aggravated assault on Wednesday, then released on bail Thursday.

She was rearrested Friday and charged with murder, Peel Regional Police said.
Luckese's daycare not illegal: province

Ontario allows both licensed and unlicensed home daycares.

The Ministry of Education told CBC News there are about 5,000 licensed home child-care providers in the province but unlicensed home daycares are also common and not illegal.

According to the Day Nurseries Act for Child Care Supervisors of Ontario, home daycare providers like Luckese can have up to five children in their home in addition to their own children.

Licensed child-care providers can't have more than five children in total in their home at one time.

Licensed providers also have additional restrictions on the number of children of a certain age they can care for. They can have a maximum of two children under age two and three children under age three.

Provincial inspectors said they had received no complaints about Luckese's daycare.

Read more:

Would you place your child in unlicensed care?


Jenn - posted on 01/10/2011




My son used to go to a babysitter who was not licensed and I loved her, but you do have to be careful. Check references, visit, get to know them. I babysit in my home and I'm not licensed.

Sara - posted on 01/09/2011




So sad. :(

I think that licensing, much like background checks, gives people a false sense of security. You still need to do your due diligence. Check references, talk to the workers, the owner, go tour the place. 9 times outta 10 you get a feeling if this is the kind of place you'd leave your child or not. The bottom line of it all is just that you can never really know. It's scary as hell. Chances are it'll be just fine, but in my mind you have to do everything you can to ensure your child is well cared for and that's all you can do.

Nikki - posted on 01/09/2011




I wouldn't leave my child in day care full stop, 10 years in the industry kind of put me off it. Unless the parent personally knows the unlicensed child care provider and trusts them, they are taking a huge risk. While there are still arseholes in licensed daycare, at least the have police checks, the environment is checked and they are held accountable for their position.

Becky - posted on 01/09/2011




My sister runs an unlicensed dayhome and I completely trust her, so yes, I would, if it was her home! I don't think a licensed home is necessarily safer - in Alberta, both licensed and unlicensed homes are governed by the same rules. But of course, there is more accountability for a licensed home. But kids have died/been killed in licensed homes too. They've been killed in foster homes, which have more frequent check-ins than dayhomes. I think either way, you just really need to do your homework, and if you have any kind of uneasiness with the care provider, follow your gut!


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Kristen - posted on 01/25/2011




I run a licensed daycare but yes I would put my kids in unlicensed IF I knew and trusted that person. While there are some safeguards in a licensed home, the process for licensing is kind of a joke.....Other than the criminal check, anyone can get a license to watch kids. And abuse happens in licensed, unlicensed, centers, friends homes, schools.... Bottom line, it is all about where you feel your child is safe.

Sammie - posted on 01/25/2011




With regards to the actual story posted, the fact that the home daycare was unlicensed actually has no bearing on the child being assaulted. This could have happened in any childcare based centre, licensed or not.

I wouldn't leave my child in a home daycare setting at all. I am a qualified child care worker, no I didn't do 3 days a week and no I didn't talk about who I had shagged whilst at work. That's a terrible assumption to make of the people that more often than not have more contact with a child than their own parents have.

Sherri - posted on 01/24/2011




Deanna my kids aren't even in daycare and your comment is offensive to every working mother or dad out their that needs to use childcare.

Charlie - posted on 01/24/2011




As someone who worked in early childhood education between ages 2 through to age 5 and with the most amazing co workers who dedicate their lives to ensuring that each child is nurtured and cared for as if their own so they can be at the best of their ability I have to say I find your comment Deanna REALLY offensive .

Jenny - posted on 01/24/2011




I have always used homercare for my kids. It has ranged from 2-4 kids. My biggest issues have been them moving or getting pregnant so they lacke din the consistency departments. I found them capable, safe and way more relaxed then centres. Not to mention I've never paid more than $25 per day including food. There is risks in any sort of environment, either you will feel comfortable with them or you won't.

Krista - posted on 01/24/2011




Not always feasible, Deanna. Night jobs tend to be pretty much restricted to healthcare, manufacturing, the hospitality industry or 24/7 customer service.

And I think it's kind of unfair to suggest that all daycares are untrustworthy. Millions of kids (myself included) have gone through a daycare setting and have benefited greatly from it (or at the very least, not been harmed by it in the least.)

I truly believe my child is deriving a greater benefit from being in daycare than he would from being at home full-time. We live in a tiny community, and I know NO other mothers of small children. At his daycare, he has two other little boys to play with, and his sitter does crafts and games with them, teaches them, sings songs, and all of that wonderful stuff. She's parented three kids and has watched dozens more over the years. So he IS in a loving, learning environment, with someone who's a hell of a lot more knowledgeable about childhood education than I am.

[deleted account]

I don't trust either kind and I don't suggest that anyone else trust them either. I would suggest finding some way to work opposing hours with your spouse so that you can keep your kids safe at home in a loving, learning environment.

Jodi - posted on 01/10/2011




Not a big fan of daycares, homes, centers, licensed or un-licensed. I used to be a licensed in-home daycare providor, I loved the kids, hated the parents, which is why I stopped doing it! That being besides the point, I'm not sure what I would do if I had to put our daughter in daycare. I probably would NOT go with anyone unlicensed, only because around here, it's at least once a year a licensed, in-home daycare providor gets shuts down for some reason or another by the state, so if they catch that many people who are on the map, how many are they not catching because they fly under the radar? I would probably pick a center with lots of staff, good reccomendations, and where the children seemed engaged, entertained and happy. It would probably take me half my lifetime to find a daycare that I thought was suitable lol, but that's why I'm a SAHM! lol

Janessa - posted on 01/09/2011




I am trying to get licensed just in the start of getting paper work together. Hopefully in 6 months I will be licensed and parents pay those who are watching your children the fair price becuase daycare peopl in the home do not get sick days and many parents are so cheap why be so cheap for the best care for your children? I do not get some parents the nerve they have being late and not excepted to charge them. I only say those because that is why happened to me. This lady was late everyday for a month straight. I just told her what was up it is not fair when someone works that long of a day and those parents do not think I have a life I do have a life. That is so sad what happened to that little girl hopefully people will know to walk away if tthey cannothandle a child telling from experience of my own child I walk away of course making sure the child is in a safe place.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2011




Sara, you are right. Before putting my kids in daycare, there were centres I walked out of, simply because my gut said no, and I just wasn't happy with the answers. You do get a general feeling.

One thing I ALWAYS did was turn up unannounced to have a look, I never made an appointment. I know that may seem kinda rude, especially if the centre Director is busy, but I chose my timing so it wasn't around mealtime nor around naptime, and I just showed up on the doorstep. This way you can get a really good idea on how happy the kids are, and the way in which they are interacting with staff rather than it all being contrived.

Rosie - posted on 01/09/2011




you know i honestly don't know if any of the daycare providers i had were licensed or not-sounds bad, but i did check them out, had references from my friends/family members and went with my gut from there.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2011




Maybe it is different legislation here, because that's always been my experience with 3 different centres :) But then, maybe it has been because they are larger centres - there has always been a lot of staff.

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011




Another thing to consider is that people who work in infant centres get additional, specialized training to work with that age group. People need to be more than just ECCE educated to work with children that young. Home daycares that take children this age should be run by people with this extra training under their belt

Nikki - posted on 01/09/2011




Jodi, each centre has their own policy, but it's not actually illegal for a carer to be by themselves with a child. (unless there is different legislation in Canberra I am not aware of, generally child care legislation for the purpose of accreditation is nation wide) In centres where there is no policy, it happens quite often, it's hard to avoid at times. That being said in a situation where a carer is left alone with a child for a longer period of time the Director is required to check on them intermittently. Some centres actually have rooms with just one carer.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2011




It's illegal to run an unlicenced daycare here. Even if you want to run in-home daycare, you have to go through a process to be approved.

I've actually always felt more comfortable with my kids in a well appointed centre than in a home daycare. In a centre, no staff member is allowed to be alone with a child, there must always be another one present. I feel safer knowing that. My kids were happy in their respective centres. My son was in daycare from 6 months full time in a centre, and my daughter was in 2 days a week once she turned 3. They both loved it.

[deleted account]

"Would you place your child in unlicensed care?"

ONLY if I knew the person well! A close friend or family!

Krista - posted on 01/09/2011




My son is currently in unlicensed care. However, a license is no guarantee of good care.

My son's sitter watches three children plus her own grandson. Her husband works from home, so there is a 1:2 adult: child ratio, which is much better than you'd get in a daycare facility. I checked her references, which were impeccable and glowing. As well, I brought my MIL with me when I interviewed the sitter, as my MIL is a lot more paranoid than I am, and would have picked up on even the tiniest twinge if something wasn't right. As well, she was watching an extra kid that day, due to school being out, and I was watching the school-aged child with her -- the girl was incredibly relaxed and very casually affectionate with her. Kids can't fake stuff like that.

So far, I've been thrilled with Wanda's care -- she's absolutely fantastic.

My sister had her boys at one of the most popular daycares in her city. They were making play putty out of Borax for the kids to play with, but weren't supervising them properly while playing with it. The sitter: child ratio was HORRIBLE. And they charged an arm and a leg.

Licensing doesn't mean a heck of a lot to me. References do. And so does my gut and my observations.

Stifler's - posted on 01/09/2011




Well I'm not sure I would actually leave my kid even in "family day care" at someone's house unless I knew them personally. But this person doesn't sound like a criminal who sets out to harm children from what Sharon said, just someone having a REALLY bad day.

Shauna - posted on 01/09/2011




Nope i sure wouldnt. And wear i live, the majority of centers will not hire someone witout a ECED .... I really dont even like inhome daycares that are lisenced. I had a horrible experience with one my stepson was in. Stuff can happen any where but a center, and lisenced at that matter, have more regulations and the person went through the mesures to become lisenced tells me alot about the person.
I cant get registered for an inhome b/c my husband is a felon. You just never know why they never got lisenced!

[deleted account]

I'm not licensed. I can't get licensed since I can't operate a childcare business out of my home, so can only watch kids in their own homes.

Licensed or not I won't leave my kids w/ someone I don't personally know.... which is 90% of the reason I don't currently have a job.

[deleted account]

Well here all licensed daycares have actual ECE (Early Childhood Educator) qualified providers who graduated the 4 year college childcare course, have a minimum of 2 years experience co-op, as well as all their certifications (cpr, etc.). They have to upgrade their ECE qualifications regularly to keep up with the latest information on child developement. Also licensed daycare providers aren't employed if they have a criminal record, most of them have their own kids, and none of them are wee little teeny boppers most of them are in their 30's considering how much schooling they had to complete prior. Also the licensed daycares work together with workers from Lansdowne who help the children with special needs. They are checked up on frequently to make sure they are following all of the regulations set by the city and they work together with children's services as well. Where I'm from kids aren't being hospitalized because the daycare staff "snapped" the worst that happens here is the daycare staff have to call children's services because the parent(s) are the one's suspected of abuse. My son isn't babysat, his daycare runs better than most schools.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/09/2011




"professional" here means you went to college 3 days a week age 16 and did "childcare" because you don't need any gcse"s to get on the course!
You can then get a job in one of the day nurseries where you can spend all day talking about who you shagged last night and slagging off the parents of the children your meant to be "looking after".

[deleted account]

I did once but learned my lesson quick. I know people who have in-home daycare and do a great job but when it comes to strangers no way. Licensed only for my little guy parents risk too much when they choose unlicensed. Some situations they don't have a choice and I think thats the problem if daycares are full up and you have to work what do you do? It's not right though and for any parent that has a choice I can't fathom why you would choose unlicensed. It's like leaving your heart with a registered heart surgeon or in some random person's home who seems okay. When it comes to something you can't live without (be it your heart or your children) its safer to go with a professional.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/09/2011




I would not leave my kids with anyone i didn't know really well! like my mum or good friends, i have only twice in my eighteen years at home with children met professional child carers who i consider to be "really good" they were both nannies.
where we live {cambridge uk" there isn't a day nursery i would put my dog in.

Sharon - posted on 01/09/2011




yes I would. I have. the woman was highly regarded by everyone who had children in her care. her neighbors reported no issues and no problems with the kids who rampaged in her yard, she had two policeofficers as neighbors... she was strict and well organised.

my kids were unhappy only once in her care. A child was bullying the smaller kids. he was removed that day. his mother was called and told that day was his last day. she took no shit from anyone or any child.

She had a LOT of kids there. But the big kids were free to come & go from the kids room, the play room and her yard. The toddlers had only two rooms and were taken outside on a schedule. and she had a couple of infants. She had monitors all over the house. The main room had a "fence" up that kept the really small kids seperate from the bigger kids.

ANYONE can snap. That can't be predicted.

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2011




I read this article and I was struck by the mom's report that the woman was organized and had a lot of great activites for the kids. It sounds like she just snapped.

If that is the case any home daycare could potentially be dangerous, licensed or unlicensed.

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