Two education ministry staffers have been suspended after a toddler died at an unlicensed Vaughan daycare, Liz Sandals’ press secretary has confirmed.
Citing sources, the Toronto Star first reported the suspensions of the unnamed employees were over a failure to follow up on earlier complaints of overcrowding at the home-based operation where the two-year-old boy died on July 8.
Press secretary Lauren Ramey told CityNews on Tuesday the two employees were suspended pending the results of an internal probe but declined to provide further details as “it’s a personnel issue.” She said the education ministry would have more to say by the end of the week.
Last week, the ministry of education said staff had checked out a complaint last November and sent a warning to the daycare on Yellowood Circle, near Highway 407 and Dufferin Street. But the ministry said it learned last week that two complaints about an excessive number of children at the daycare were filed in October and December and no follow up occurred.
The ministry launched an investigation last week after it learned staff overlooked the complaints and on Monday the province’s ombudsman launched his own investigation into how the ministry monitors unlicensed daycares.
Ministry rules call for a site visit within five business days of all complaints about unlicensed daycares hosting too many children. According to the Day Nurseries Act, only five kids under the age of 10 are allowed. But there were as many as 27 children were in the house at the time of the child’s death.
Ombudsman Andre Marin said that his probe will be conducted by the Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT).